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Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Minister meets with frustrated and angry ex pats

The CoastRider newspaper, in this week's edition, includes an article about the meeting between British Expat residents, in the Costa Blanca South area,and Chris Bryant MP, Minister of State for Europe, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, on Saturday 6th March at the Hotel Cabo Cervera in Torrevieja. (Unfortunately although I was registered to attend I couldn't get to the meeting.)

The subject of the withdrawal of the free healthcare system to 'early retirees' by the Valencian government was inevitably raised. In the article by Paul Mutter he quotes Chris Bryant as saying in relation to this matter
I have absolutely no power, nor does Giles, nor does Gordon Brown, nor would any government in the UK to tell the Spaniards to change their healthcare system. It is true that there are some people who are not covered by the present heath arrangements, a gap. I’d love to be able to stand here and tell you that yes we are going to change the law to do that but the honest truth is that we don’t have the money in the UK .. and I don’t think any government in the UK is going to be changing that in the future.

This is certainly not what the supporters of the PUMA 22 group wanted to hear but it is the reality of the situation. Perhaps we will learn of their next line of action at the announced PUMA22 Press Conference on 23rd March 2010. On the organisation website they say:
After all the fuss we have made the past 6 months, we have to continue our campaign. Together we can make change happen
On this one I don't think so.

The UK government has withdrawn the reciprocal healthcare system with the Channel Isles, and is about to do the same with the Isle of Man, because of costings of the arrangement, and could certainly not consider making special arrangements for British Expats in the Valencian region of Spain.

Read the full article: Minister meets with frustrated and angry ex pats - The CoastRider 

Post script 11.03.2010
Brits vent their anger during Chris Bryant MP visit- Euro Weekly News
Minister speaks to expats - Round Town News

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