200 none Spanish residents from the Costa Blanca area marched the streets of Alicante in demonstration against Valencia’s government decision to deny them access to the public health care system.
The demonstration started at the British Consulate and the group made their way down to the Generalitat building to insist that they shouldn’t now have to pay a fee to receive the public health service. Furious with the local authority’s decision, demonstrators marched carrying cardboard coffins with the flags of Spain and Europe. The local newspaper, La Verdad, claims the reason for the coffins were to symbolise the demise and death of relationships between the two.
Those who have immigrated to the sunny shores of Spain have enjoyed inclusion to the public health service. This was generally because most people who took up residency helped with tourism, as many started businesses like cafes and bars. The decision taken by the Valencia government appears to have soured ties and could possibly turn potential expats off the idea of moving to one of Spain’ attract resorts permanently.
This new measure will affect those who have taken early retirement and are not eligible for Spain’s free public health care. The concession that has been running since 2003 allows people access to the health care is as a result been withdrawn and a system has replaced it that requires 4 separate fees a year of €270. The opposition of course believe that the previous system should remain, and a willing to fight tooth and nail to see it does.