A visit to Soller right now will see you caught up in tree pruning. Intermittent road closures and the use of the grinding machine. This bit of loud equipment cuts all the branches into small scraps which are then sold on. Sustainable tree pruning is alive and well here. Many people get upset and complain about the way the trees are cut and think we have done them irrevocable harm. This is, however an annual event and the trees always grow back to give us shade in Spring and Summer. It just means that Soller takes on a pre historic, gaunt look for a couple of months.
January is the month of fire and roasting meat. The Sant Antoni fires go on now until the end of January. The Demons and their dances are to be seen often and are celebrated in all the school playgrounds. The idea of winter barbecues makes sense in our world. Summer ones are often much too hot and uncomfortable for the cook. Everyone loves a fire in the winter world of Majorca and traditions are there to be celebrated. These parties are the last of the holidays for the workers who are getting ready to go back to work in February. The Soller Valley has a ten-month season and many of our hotels re open in February ready for the walking and cycling guests.
The magic number of 385 has come to haunt us in Soller. Last week a Brexit information meeting was held with the Consulate in charge. They said in their advertising that there were 385 registered residents in the Soller Valley they wished to get information to. The meeting was fine and it was reported on at the time. What we have been left with is the 385 game. This cannot possibly be the number of UK people who should be registered here. This has now given rise to coffee house conversations about why people choose not to register. Opinion goes from a desire to live under the radar to those who are genuinely confused.
Social media got involved in our very public debate on Sollerweb and statistics from all over the island came in thick and fast. We were told that in Calvia and the Andratx region there were thousands of people who haven’t registered their existence. I cannot comment on that but I do have a question.
If many UK citizens do nothing and try and remain as they are what will happen? Will they be considered illegal at the end of 2020 and if so what action will be taken? In early days Majorca UK residents were required to register their arrival to live here with the Consulate. That rule changed and people were instead, just recommended to do that. For years now I have not heard any update on that requirement.
My chats with immigration solicitors tell me that if someone is found not to have complied with existing rules they will have to begin the process from scratch with a myriad of paperwork and cost involved, or leave the country. It is always difficult to get involved with hear say and second guessing but the grapevine says this is going to apply to a lot of people. The deadline is already approaching, after which, those who should have a Spanish driving license will have to take their driving test all over again. You must register your intention to change your license before 31st January 2020 or this will apply to you. If you do this, you will have the rest of 2020 to do the change over.
All this is very scary for some people but Lucy Gorman and her team at the Consulate will answer any questions you might have. She can be contacted at the British Consulate Palma, Carrer Convent dels Caputxins 4, Edificio Orisba B 4D, 07002 Palma de Mallorca
+34 933 666 200 | ECHO: 8360 4771 | Lucy.firstname.lastname@example.org
Brits in Spain: GOV.UK |Facebook|Twitter
As the month marches on enjoy the fires and barbecues and the last few days of our UK country being part of Europe. Some will be holding parties and others attending wakes. As for me I loved being European with all the travel and experiences it granted, I will be very sad. I respect the democratic process but I still have a heavy heart.