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Recortes de Prensa

Expats urged to vote

Costa Almería News, 24 | 04 | 2009 – Reportaje

EU Parliament elections first litmus test since the Auken report

Pressure groups are billing the forthcoming EU parliamentary elections as an opportunity to punish the country’s main leading parties “for years of town planning abuse”.

The elections on June 7 will be the first political test for Spain’s parties in the wake of the Auken report, which roundly condemned Spain for committing urban abuses, particularly along the coasts.
Charles Svoboda, the spokesman for the expat pressure group AUN, stressed the need to remain neutral but urged expats to vote on the day. He said: “It doesn’t mean we must be politically ‘inert’ - the expression of one’s concerns through voting is one of the best ways of influencing matters for the better.”

But other pressure groups have not been as reluctant to voice their views. Salvemos Mojacar spokesman, Jaime del Val, urged residents to punish the country’s main parties “for encouraging years of urban abuse” and to vote for Margret Auken, the Danish MEP whose hard-hitting report on town planning corruption called on the EU to freeze subsidies to Spain if the country did not find a solution to the problem.

The non-binding proposal was recently voted through in Brussels, albeit without the support of either the PP or the PSOE groups.

According to official figures issued last week, 9,387 European residents living in Almería are eligible to vote, and many are convinced expats’ votes could have a decisive influence in Brussels and the EU parliament’s response to future town planning decisions in Spain.

The candidate lists will be released on May 12.

Can you vote?

Expat residents hoping to vote in the EU elections on June 7 need to be on the municipal register - the padrón - and have expressed a desire to vote.

According to the national institute of statistics (INE), the electoral census office sent out letters in October 2008 to all those on the padrón, enclosing a ‘formal statement’ form.

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