I am going to break one of my golden rules and respond to the letters to the editor we publish today. Firstly, I would like to thank the people who have taken the time to write and air their views on the viewpoint I wrote the other day about why we couldn´t vote in the Spanish general elections later this year. First of all I would like say that I consider myself a European and these days I have the same rights (bar the vote) as a Spaniard, give or take. The fact that I cannot vote in a general election in the country where I live, I believe, goes against the basic principle of the European Union; ie a free movement of labour and equal rights in all members states. Yes, we now live in Europe and my plumber is not Spanish he happens to be Polish and the guy who serves me coffee in my local bar is from Germany. Yes, welcome to the new Europe. So despite countless European treaties, the same currency (in most states), the same driving licence, the same passport, if I want to vote I should have to return to my country of origin. Come-on, that doesn´t sound too European to me. My other option is to become a Spanish citizen, but why should I? Surely in this new Europe which we keep on hearing about all EU nationals are equal? There are now 60'000 non-Spanish European Union citizens living in the Balearics who do not have the vote in March. Spain is their home and the place they have elected to live. They naturally want to contribute to Spain´s future. If this dream of Europe is to work we should have the same rights across the European Union. Otherwise, it simply doesn´t work. I want to vote in the country I call home not the country I was born in.
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