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Spain and the European Union

Spain and the European Union

Spain and the European Union

We were talking to an expat here in southern Spain yesterday afternoon. He has lived here for more than twenty years and says that he cannot understand why Spain is in the European Union.

His diatribe started with nepotism.

“Go to the town hall,” he said, “or the police station and see how many different surnames there are. Out of hundreds, even thousands of employees, there will be about a dozen surnames. If you don’t belong, you won’t get in”.

“Tell me another thing,” he continued. “Why is the police in charge of immigration? It is not a police issue who is allowed to stay in the country, or at least, it shouldn’t be. It should be an issue for the civil service, as it is in Britain!”

“Another thing,” he continued, getting into his stride, “there is no freedom of speech here! Try criticizing the royal family and you will soon find yourself in very hot water! Spain is not a democracy and doesn’t deserve to be in the EU. That is why I voted out, despite the fact that I have lived here so long. We should not be supporting countries like this!”

I report the above as it was spoken to me. I do not have enough experience from the eight weeks I have been here to know whether he is right or wrong, but I do know that I was refused a residency permit today because my money is in the UK, not in Spain.

Why should that matter if Spain believes in the EU?

My money is in Citibank Europe; that is it’s official title.

Can it be that an American bank believes in Europe more than Spain?

It seems so.

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All the best,

Owen

Podcast: Spain and the European Union