Every little helps

Every little helps
CONFRIDES-L’ABDET: Idyllic villages want to retain their pharmacy Photo credit: Confrides-L’Abdet town hall

CONFRIDES-L’ABDET town hall’s income was recently reduced by €200 a month.

Local mayor Ruben Pico decided to waive the €200 that pharmacist Jose Manuel Zaragoza pays each month to occupy municipally-owned premises.

The last council meeting approved the four-year agreement in a move that Pico trusts will ensure that the pharmacy can remain open.


“Losing essential services is a factor that has favoured the exodus of the young,” Pico said. “Farmacias are a symbol for villages.”

The Confrides-L’Abdet farmacia also helps, in a modest way, to create employment as Zaragoza also employs a part-time assistant from Confrides.

The two linked mountain villages in the Marina Baja have a combined population of 187, of whom roughly half are elderly.  They would have problems going elsewhere for their medication, Pico pointed out.

“It is one of my obligations as mayor is to take necessary decisions,” he explained.

“If we don’t help each other, we run the risk of finding ourselves without residents,” Pico warned.

Jose Manuel Zaragoza makes the 45-minute journey to and from Confrides each day from his Altea home, highlighting the difficulties that threaten rural pharmacies.

“Most of us with pharmacies like these aren’t in it for business,” Zaragoza said, “but because of a vocation to serve.”

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Linda Hall
Linda came to Spain to live when she was 24, just over 52 years ago, and her husband is Spanish. She began writing for English-language local newspapers in the mid-1970s and hasn’t stopped since! She leads a Spanish life, which she believes is vital when conveying the news to English-speaking residents, and along the way she produced two editions of Expand Your Spanish, helping English-speakers to enlarge their knowledge of the language. She was excited to be in at the birth of the Euro Weekly News in 1999 and is still passionately writing for the paper 22 years later.


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