By Jason Moore

JUST 11'000 European Union expatriates are eligible to vote at the Balearic elections in May, according to official government figures announced yesterday. So in other words, all the talk and speculation that the expat vote will change ajorca's political landscape is just that, speculation and wishful thinking by some people. The total electorate stands at 694'000 people so the expat contribution is just a drop in the ocean. I would encourage all those who are eligible to vote because I think it is important that the non-Spanish Europeans make a contribution and have their democratic say through the voting process. What I do object to is some of the figures which suggested that up to 50'000 non-Spanish EU residents could vote. Apart from being completely wrong these figures also suggested that the expatriate community was much bigger than it really is. I was deeply concerned when I read reports that all home owners, providing they were registered with their town hall, would be able to vote. I said in this column at the time that this was a mistake because people, who knew little about the island and who called another European Union country home, would be able to vote and shape Majorca's future. Thankfully my fears proved unfounded. The voting process among EU expatriates still has a long way to go and until there is a greater level of integration and greater knowledge of local affairs I suspect that it will continue to be just a drop in the ocean.

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