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Padron is 'nothing more than electoral merchandising'

Mon 25th Jan 2010

President of the congress, José Bono, claims that new rules that oblige everyone – even illegal immigrants – to sign on the padrón is merely 'electoral merchandising'.

He says that back in 2000 it was stated that illegal immigrants in Spain would not be denied schooling or healthcare on the basis that they did not have a residence permit.

Bono says there is no need to be registered on the census in order to make use of basic public services.

But he failed to mention the plight of EU citizens living in certain parts of Spain who are neither working nor of state retirement age – overall, early retirees – who are unable to access free healthcare.

In the Comunidad Valenciana, they will shortly have to pay fees totalling around 1,000 euros a year per head to be entitled to medical attention.

Neither do those who are not self-employed have the option to pay social security, which would give the automatic access to state healthcare.

However, president of the regional government of Andalucía, José Antonio Griñán, says that even if immigrants who are not on the padrón are able to access healthcare and education, this will still mean that their town council will receive inadequate funding for such services.

The padrón figures allow local authorities to be able to tell how many people are living in their town and how many schools, health centres, police officers and so on are needed.

They will be given central and regional government funding for these vital facilities based on the size of the population.

Griñán reminded Bono that in the period that Spain was under the PP government – prior to the 2004 elections – a total of three million foreigners came to live in Spain.

He called it 'absurd' that Bono considers it unnecessary for all three million to register on their local census, meaning that this number will not be taken into account when providing public services.

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