Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Un mundo pequeño y mentes más así

Whilst out on a scouting trip at an hotel near Cádiz, I discovered this cart. It has come from less than 20 miles from where I used to live for many years.

After the last post I was called by social services to register their disapproval of what I wrote. I was also asked to call the current social worker back to arrange an appointment. The thing is that my wife has had enough of it. She sees that no progress has been made regarding the treatment of the children at school (i.e. blatant racism), and constant stonewalling by the authorities when it comes to doing anything that requires treating foreigners with dignity.

She (my better half) therefore has no wish to see the social worker again, and has forbidden me to call her. I must obey.

Lately I've not been posting much. The main reason has been I've been preoccupied with finding a new job after the current one ends in the summer (no fixed date yet). All the local staff agree that this is probably the best job they've had (or are ever likely to have) in Spain. No Spanish employer would treat their staff so fairly. I know only too well after previous jobs here. It seems highly likely that the next job will involve emigration from Spain.

I've (mostly) enjoyed my time here and have made some good friends in the last six years. For SWMBO it has been unending struggle against racism, obstruction and rudeness.

Rather than rant myself about all the things that went wrong, I shall let SWMBO do it - she's been contacted by the Daily Mail for her story.

Friday, May 02, 2008

¿Qué ha pasado con abril?

A whole month has slipped by without a single post.

The main reason has been our occupation with Suzie, her baptism at the local church, the baptism of a neighbour's baby, that baby's health problems and of course doing battle with the State over our rights.

The last item goes back to our arrival in Spain. We soon discovered that we qualify for familia numerosa which gives not inconsiderable benefits, especially when it comes to taxation. We first applied in 2005 and got the book last summer, after two years of jumping through hoops put there to stop extranjeros applying. So the book arrived just in time for Suzie's birth which meant we had to immediately ask for a re-issue or lose the entitlement. Suzie is now almost nine months old and we're still fighting the Junta. This despite the fact she was born here in Andalucía.

After a useful relationship with Miguel Angel, a genuinely caring social worker who made every effort to help us through the system, he has moved on to another case. The new SW is a complete waste of space. Unhelpful doesn't even cover it. We patiently explained to her that the Junta's position on the familia numerosa is not only unlawful since it goes directly against the European Accession treaty that Spain signed and against the Maastricht and Lisbon treaties, but that the Junta's attitude is institutionally rascist, openly discriminating against EU citizens who are guaranteed equal rights before Spanish law. Her reaction was to side with the Junta, saying that "Spain is a special case and Spaniards have special rights reserved for themselves". Not in social equality they don't. She should re-read the above-mentioned treaties.

We will give her one last chance to break the logjam, then it's off the the press, lawyer and European Commission with the case. I don't think the Spanish government will want to hand back their Social Fund grants to Brussels on top of the 63 million euro they've had to repay to the CAP.