AE Orihuela Costa in support of the Orihuela Town hall held an informative meeting for Scandinavian residents on Friday campaign, in order that they be better informed of their rights to vote in the upcoming local and EU elections, and better understand the procedures involved.
Christina Berardi, Scandinavian Coordinator AE Orihuela Costa, invited Scandinavians to a meeting at restaurant El Nacional. Also present were support the Swedish Consul Björn Sandström, Director Gert Gunnarsson, Skandinaviska skolan Orihuela Costa, Helene Åkerman, President of Claro and Sofia Alvarez, the Councillor responsible for Foreign Residents in Orihuela.
Around 60 Scandinavians gathered to receive information and ask questions around various issues but mainly the Padrón, Residencia and how to register to vote in the upcoming local election to be held on 26 May. The importance of having a Spanish Will was also mentioned and assistance offered by people on the panel. The importance of integration and better involvement from the Scandinavian residents was emphasised by both the Consul Bjorn Sandstrom and other members of the panel.
One of the most effective ways of doing this is of course to vote. Sofia Alvarez stressed the importance of increasing numbers on the padron in order to increase local services. She gave data about the numbers of citizens.
The owner of the Scandinavian school spoke of his tireless fight to obtain a more suitable venue for his growing school in which the number of children have tripled in just 4 years. Mr Gunnarsson said how he has been asking the council for a plot to build a school for many years, but how he has been ignored. He expressed thanks to AE for caring about their community.
Helene Akerman explained the importance of voting to secure representation in Orihuela, for a fair distribution of municipal funds, which for years the politicians based in Orihuela have ignored. This was one of the topics that generated a lot of questions once the floor opened to those present.
In this last legislature the government has had more than 30M funds to spend, the majority from sales of municipal plots of La Costa and have yet to finish even one of the projects requested on the coast.
Christina Berardi, the AE Coordinator of Scandinavians and organiser of the forum, explained that AE is a citizen movement, composed of associations and collectives and neighbours of La Costa, that seeks a voice to defend the interests of all the residents of La Costa, and in particular the flagrant lack of basic services. It will seek a voice that defends the interests of all the residents of La Costa.