WELL, finally residencias have been scrapped which is good news for all of us. But what has concerned me is that the move has now opened the floodgates for thousands of European Union non-residents who can now vote providing they are registered with their council and have asked to go on the electoral roll. In other words a typical part-time resident who is firmly based outside Spain but who owns a holiday home here is, in theory, eligible to vote. The non-Spanish European Union vote, is therefore, enormous. A report a few years ago suggested that one million Germans had homes here. Theoretically speaking they are all eligible to vote even though they probably know little or anything about the political needs of the island. Is this democracy at work. It could be argued, yes but I am concerned that the vote is being given too easily. It could also cause problems within councils. If you are a rate payer you should be able to vote, supporters of the plan will say. It is also rather ironic that just five years ago no European Union expatriate could vote and now it is open to everyone even people who don't own a property because a rental agreement is enough to get registered and on the electoral roll. How times are changing. When I first came to work on this newspaper I needed a residencia, a work permit and a piece of paper showing that I didn't have a criminal record. Now, in theory, I just need my passport. That's progress for you.

Jason Moore