By Euro Weekly News Media • 28 January 2011 • 11:49
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THERE has been some confusion over the deadlines for members of the European Community residents wishing to register to vote at the Spanish May elections. EU residents in Spain can register on the electoral roll at their respective town hall (subject to already being on the padron) until Monday, January 31.
This was confirmed to the Euro Weekly News by the National Statistics Institute (INE) on Tuesday.
The mix up arose as staff at some town halls appeared to confuse an extension to Tuesday, January 25 granted to non-EU residents, whose countries have reciprocal agreements with Spain, thinking it applied to EU residents.
One such example where this confusion seemed to have taken place was Javea Town Hall. According to sources, EU residents were turned away from the Javea electoral office on Tuesday January 18.
Members of the European community were allegedly informed that the extension applied to South American nationals only and that EU citizens were past their sell-by date.
After numerous arguments and official complaints, the town hall eventually contacted the Madrid Central Electoral Office who immediately confirmed that the extension was indeed open to citizens of all nationalities, not simply South Americans.
When a reporter contacted the Javea electoral office, they were told they had misread a clause in the instructions for which they were very sorry and apologised to all concerned for the confusion.
They then suggested that disgruntled residents return to the office to complete the registration service.
Manolo Carrillo from Javea Town Hall confirmed on Tuesday the period for inscription in the electoral roll by EU residents is January 31.
Meanwhile, Orihuela Town Hall appears also to have suffered similar confusion, sending out a press note explaining EU residents can still register, followed by another stating they could not as this applied to “non-EU residents and those that are part of the treaty agreement with Spain.”
There was a press release issued by the INE dated January 14, 2011, informing about the extension to non-EU residents, with an additional note on the INE website highlighting this fact, but no press release or note on the website about the January 31 extension for EU residents.
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