Sir, MRS. Parker's letter (Tuesday's Bulletin) sums up many people's total confusion over the subject of Residencias which seem to also vary from one region of Spain to another – thereby only adding to a melting pot of conflicting information – one wonders why it all can't be the same!! I have spoken to one expert who informs me along the same lines of your reply that providing you meet the criterias laid down, then you can sign a form acknowledging that you do not need a Residencia but still wish to have one. Using one's passport would be a disaster as we Brits like the Germans change the number on renewal, unlike the Spanish who have the same number for life – the confusion for those who are legal here would be enormous – of course those who are working illegally don't give two hoots!!! Which moves me on to commenting on a letter of 15th October from Mike Lillico who is in the “I'm opposed to ID's camp”. His comments were made concerning two lead articles – one by Jason Moore supporting ID's and one by the Monitor – unfortunately he would appear to have mixed up the points of both articles. Jason Moore clearly stated a valid argument for ID Cards in relation to living here in Spain, the Monitor was commenting on the UK's ideas, two separate issues because: l Here in Spain without an ID it is difficult to arrange your papers for work, tax or social security basically the whole system is built around this document a Spanish person's ID number is also the number of their passport – it's the way here – if you don't like it – then the answer is obvious!!! l The UK version as reported in the Monitor is for them and them alone if they want to employ high tech systems that's their choice – they have difficulty with things such as ID Cards – perhaps its a hangover from the end on the second world war when I believe they were abolished by Churchill who made the statement “Give the people back their freedom”. They appear to have difficulty with most things European – it's against civil liberties, human rights, it's not politically correct their lists as always are negative and quite frankly boring – bit like the country really!! With regard to reducing crime – it assists but is not a means of solving fraud – I don't believe at the time of its inception that was intended as such. The means of most fraud these days were not present at the conception of ID cards.

Reference to 9/11 and the fact that the high–jackers papers were all in order is indicative that with money and intent to commit crime any system can be broken. The mere fact that a person looks normal (Quantify normal!) does not mean they are not a criminal, it was admitted that they had lead ordinary lives for sometime previous so thereby obtaining the necessary papers. From a personal view point I can see no reason to make a political hot potato out of ID Cards – be it either the ham fisted way the Spanish have gone about moving the goal posts for Residencias or the much ado about nothing of the Brits. My suggestion – ID Cards for all – to a set European design – like passports and at the same time sort out the driving licenses as well.
I hear a wailing and nashing of teeth – Cries of lost identity, federalism, big brother state – in reply I say, mainly to the Brits – look to the other side of the Atlantic – the USA that country with whom you would rather be part of than Europe, all the states have their own identities and even laws but guess what the passports, driving licenses etc are all the same so if it works for them why not for us?

Alan Morris
CALVIA

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