Page 37

13 - 19 December 2012

EWN

www.euroweeklynews.com

37

Costa de Almería

A good time the traditional Spanish way S

PAIN is bursting with Christmas spirit. There are still assortment of seafood, cheese and ham as a starter, meat 12 days left to the big day, but it all started earlier this for a main dish, lots of sweets and a bottle or two of Champagne - but also to visit every relative in town. month. Do not be surprised if a group of children knock on the The signs are there. By now towns have already lit up their festive decorations. TV viewers have been bombarded door and start singing carols, armed with tambourines and some sort of drum with a stick called a with classic Christmas ads for toys, perfume, ‘zambomba’. On Christmas Eve it is traditional sweets, clothes, and everything else. for children to go from home to home asking People are chatting in the streets and for a small prize, ‘el aguinaldo’. They are offices about the lottery and the usual joker usually given some spare change, sweets or will say ‘I’m going to buy you all an Iberian biscuits. But tell them to sing a couple of ham if I win El Gordo this year!’ A weekly focus aimed songs - ‘villancicos’ - if they want to earn it! El Gordo (The Fat One) is the nickname for at keeping expatriate readers On Christmas Day people usually spend the the main prize in the Christmas lottery, drawn informed on various aspects of day eating with family and friends. It is a every December 22. Life in Spain national holiday, so check the town’s Yes, this is all part of Christmas in Spain. programme of events because there will But a real Christmas means family. So it all By Raul Candela really begins with the Christmas Eve dinner, probably be something going on in the which Spaniards call ‘Nochebuena’. It is a streets. night to share with the family, not only to eat After New Year’s Eve’s booze-filled party the specialties mum or grandma cooks - usually an and New Year’s hangover day, comes the moment all Spanish children dream of. Three Kings Day, on January 6, is the when they get their presents. The night before, parades are held in towns and cities. The Three Kings are there to grant the children’s wishes. In my home town of Ibi (Alicante) - which is known as ‘Toy Town’ for its traditional toy industry - the servants of King Balthasar even use ladders to Foreign padron statistics in get through the windows and Mijas since August 2012: leave boxes of toys in every 3,074 residents newly child’s home. registered Isn’t it magical? 1,925 confirmations by those

Life in Spain

CHILD’S TIME: The Three Kings monument in Ibi, Alicante, is the only one of its kind in Europe.

Town hall padron drive helps fill official coffers

Q AND A

MUNICIPALITIES with a large foreign community are beginning to reap the rewards for their efforts to promote the padron (municipal register). One of the best examples is the Andalucian town of Mijas (Malaga). The town hall had reported that more than 14,000 foreign inhabitants were going to be removed from the residents list as they had not renewed their registration every five years as required. So the council launched a “The Euro ‘Don’t lose your rights’ Weekly News has always campaign in August, been really helpful for foreign mailing more than 3,000 residents in our town, especially people the following the British, but also the Germans. alert: ‘Those who are not They usually come here with the on the padron are not newspaper in their hands. They say: considered inhabitants ‘I read this in the EWN and thought it important of Mijas and as such, will information’.”Luisa Machen, not be able to receive any Mijas Foreign Residents of the benefits offered, Department social help, etc. This will also harm the town hall, as central government will give less campaign, in money, fewer policemen, less 2013 Mijas will get €4.7 million public transport and fewer more than last year in state doctors to the town.’ grants for a total of €19.2 Thanks to the success of the million, the council said.

already registered 730 removed from the register (they do not live there any more) 1,744 proposed to be removed Total population: 79,262 (2011); 82,124 (2012) = +3.6 per cent Total foreign population: 32,743 (2011; 43 per cent British); 35,817 (2012) = +9.3 per cent Registered population in the last 10 years: + 57.3 per cent HERE TO HELP: Foreign Residents Departments provide all the necessary information about the padron. “I think we can call it a success,” Marta Rey from the Mijas Foreign Residents Department told Euro Weekly News.

We are not residents in Spain but have a holiday home in the community and visit about four or five times each year. We have noticed the council is requesting people to register with the local town hall. Does this apply to

“We are satisfied with the results,” Marta said. A final push is needed for towns all over Spain. Residents should keep in mind that their town hall will get €150 for every registered person. Everybody counts!

Do not miss them: Christmas events in EWN areas. - Costa del Sol: ‘Verdiales’ folk festival, December 28 (noon). La Concepcion Park, Malaga. - Axarquia: Live Nativity scene, December 29 (6pm) and December 30 (noon), Almayate. - Almeria: Eating the traditional Christmas almond sweet pie in Huercal-Overa. - Costa Blanca North: ‘Els Enfarinats’, December 28, 10am, Ibi. - Costa Blanca South: Choir Concert, December 22, 9.30pm. Basilica de Santa Maria, Elche. - Mallorca: ‘El Canto de la Sibila’, December 24, 11pm. Santuario de Lluc, Palma.

non-residents? The padron does not imply you are a resident. It is a way the town hall knows how many people live in the area. So, yes, it is recommended even for nonresidents to register as it offers advantages to the community.

Send your questions to: raul@euroweeklynews.com

Costa de Almeria 13 - 19 December 2012 Issue 1432  

News in English from the Costa del Sol. Costa Blanca North, Costa Blanca South, Costa de Almeria, Axarquia - Malaga East and Mallorca.

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