Friday, December 11, 2009

Brits on the march

Hundreds of British residents took to the streets of Alicante Province this week to protest over healthcare and illegal building issues. Two independent demonstrations were held in Catral and Alicante city.

On Wednesday around 200 residents protested in Catral over charges they will have to pay to legalise homes built on rustic land without planning permission. They marched to the town hall carrying placards calling for an end to corruption and stating they are pensioners who cannot afford to pay.

On Thursday, it was the turn of healthcare demonstrators who gathered in Alicante outside the British Consulate. They are angry about the withdrawal of free healthcare for early retirees, which has been replaced with a 270-euro charge every three months. Around 400 expats called for justice and SIP cards, carrying 'coffins' and many dressed as nurses.

At the British Consulate, Puma 22 representatives Norah Jones and Bill Bridges who organised the demonstration, handed in a letter of complaint to Consul Janine Lamont. Ambassador Giles Paxman was not present to receive them, as the protesters had hoped.

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