By Jason Moore

SPAIN is the first to say that it is a leading European nation and that its heart is with the European Union. However, it behaves in a rather unEuropean manner when it comes to non-Spanish Europeans. First, there is the small matter of non-Spanish European Union residents not being able to vote in Spanish general elections. The fact that we have been snubbed and only have limited voting powers is almost a national disgrace.

Us, non-Spanish Europeans, can´t decide who runs Spain eventhough in many cases decisions taken in Madrid will have a major affect on our everyday lives. Secondly there is the matter of the hugely unfair matriculation tax which has severely hit the lucrative nautical industry. It means that the owners of non-Spanish flagged yachts have to pay a tax to carry out yacht charters in Spanish waters. This tax penalises fellow Europeans. And then there is the inheritance tax. Non-residents have to pay 17 percent while residents pay just 1 percent, this is just another disgrace.

Thankfully, the European Union is taking action and Brussels has called on Spain to scrap the matriculation tax at once. The inheritance tax is expected to follow. At last there has been some action on these fronts. Hopefully, in the future Spain will behave in a more European manner. What next? Perhaps they might see the light and abolish our green certificate residence cards which are useless. Now, that would really be a good Christmas present for us all.

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