Jason Moore IT has been a long time coming but at last the Spanish government has recognised the fact that non-Spanish European Union citizens were being discriminated against and has scrapped residencias. According to a communique issued by the Spanish government yesterday, left, to live legally in Spain you just need a valid passport or an ID card from your country of origin. Presumably you must also be registered with your council. The new legislation comes into force in about six months time but first it must be published in the Official State Bulletin before it becomes law. Out of all the nationalities, the British are the winners, because most European Union countries have identity cards, unlike Britain. Some German residents have been “boycotting” residencias for some time and have just been using their national ID cards. To vote also you just need to be registered with your council and on the electoral roll. It is definitely a step forward for European Union expatriates living in Spain and it could mean that even more “foreigners” will move here. Groups representing non-Spanish Europeans have been campaigning for the demise of the residencia for some time. Also, a group of foreign residents in Ibiza actually took action against the Spanish government claiming that residencias broke European Union legislation on the free movement of labour. With this new ruling, which was forecast by the Bulletin last week living in Spain has never been easier. However, there are still some points which we are hoping to clarify, the most important of which is when and how the legislation will come into effect. The second point is tax numbers. Will your passport number be your tax identification number (like it is with your residencia) or will you be issued with a separate number by the tax office. According to figures announced by the National Census Office more than 51'000 non-Spanish EU residents will be able to vote in the forthcoming local elections. In areas such as Calvia almost 20 percent of the electoral roll consists of non-Spanish Europeans. It is widely believed that the so-called foreign vote will make a major difference at the next local elections. In Calvia and other smaller municipalities the non-Spanish Europeans could hold the balance of power. One leading local expatriate said yesterday “this is a dawn of a new era for the Balearics. We've now got the vote and we no longer need residencias. Things couldn't be better.”