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Thursday, 26 March 2009

Euro Weekly News - 60 Second Interview

Last week I was invited by the Euro Weekly News (Free distribution newspaper) to take part in their '60 Second Interview' feature. It consists of a short introduction about the person being interviewed followed by the answers to approximately 5 or 6 questions.

I agreed and the feature was published today.

The introduction used is similar to my profile information so I will not repeat that but the following are the questions and my answers.

When and why did you decide to move to Spain?
It was part of our decision to sell our business and retire. We were looking for a tranquil pace of life, a better climate for health reasons, and a more cost-effective standard of living.

You are the English Spokesman for the Orihuela Costa Working Group. What are the goals of this group?
There are two main reasons for the establishment of the group. To act as an effective method of communication between the Los Verdes Councillors in Orihuela Ayuntamiento and the citizens of Orihuela Costa and to coordinate the work of Los Verdes to improve the quality of life for all residents and to protect the environment from unsustainable development and irreversible destruction.

'Clean up the Costa' is coordinated by Los Verdes. What can readers do to improve the quality of our beaches?
Residents and visitors to Orihuela Costa can improve the quality of the environment by getting involved in removing the growing problem of litter. This can be as simple as making sure they dispose of any litter correctly, or getting involved in local 'Litter Pick-ups' or the 'Grand Clean-ups' organised by the campaign coordinators or, in the case of illegal fly tipping, contacting Los Verdes to put pressure on the council. We can all help with persuading litter louts to change their unsociable habits and reminding the local government of their responsibility to provide and maintain a clean environment.

Do you feel that the disabled are offered the services and facilities to ensure their right to a life with dignity in Spain?
Without a doubt the answer is no. The government in Orihuela is failing to carry out it's responsibility towards people with disabilities. If we look a the simple task of the provision of ease of access to those with reduced mobility, the local council fail dismally. There are many locations where no access ramps are provided or, where they exist, the gradient is inadequate to allow free unassisted access. An example of this is pedestrian crossings on roads where no drop kerb facilities are installed, which results in wheel chair users having to travel in the road until a ramp is found. Not only does this put them in danger but takes away their dignity as a human being. There is certainly a need for the 'Dignity for the Disabled' campaign.

Your personal Blog at is an interesting view of many of the problems we are facing.
I created and edit the 'Los Verdes in Orihuela Costa' Blog and those specifically for the campaigns 'Clean up the Costa' and 'Dignity for the Disabled', as methods of disseminating information. Because of my direct association with them, I wanted a separate medium for expressing my personal views and interests so there would not be any grounds for confusion as to what is on behalf of Los Verdes and what is directly from me. People may consider it too self opinionated but that probably applies to the vast majorityof personal Blogs!

What are your main environmental concerns?
The environment is a finite resource which too many governments, politicians, companies and individuals are prepared to decimate and defile either for the sake of profit now or because they don't care. They give no or very little thought to the affect it has on the quality of life, availability of sustainable needs and continued existence for current and future inhabitants, locally, nationally or globally.

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