August 2013 Archive

Is the UK government stark raving mad

The UK is being praised for
continuing to raise national output dedicated to aid, in line with
international targets. UK’s annual aid budget is £10 billions.

At the same time, Spain has cut
overseas aid by 50%; Italy has made cuts of 34%; Greece has cut by 17% (though
no one could be critical of that); Portugal has made a reduction of 13%.
Germany, France and US have made reductions also, but by a smaller margin. The
EU concedes it will break the promise to meet aid goals.

The UK’s
coalition government needs to get out of the sun
. THEY ARE AUTHORISING THE BORROWING
OF LARGE SUMS OF MONEY ANNUALLY, AND THEN THEY GIVE A HUGE CHUNK AWAY IN
OVERSEAS AID. AT THE SAME TIME, THEY SAY THAT UK PENSIONERS WHO LIVE ABROAD,
ARE LIKELY TO LOSE WINTER FUEL PAYMENTS, BECAUSE IT CANNOT BE AFFORDED.

The cost of the Winter Fuel Payments
is £2.1 billions to all qualifiers annually, so why not half the aid budget, as
Spain has done, so that Winter Fuel Payments can be retained at no extra cost.
Additionally, the other savings of £2.9 billions could be given to the NHS.

No one wishes the poorer people in
the world to starve or be poisoned by contaminated water, of course not.
However, the UK is a country that cannot properly care for its own people right
now, let alone half of the rest of the world. We are suffering a severe
economic downturn, and common sense dictates that we have to cut our cloth
accordingly. That includes the cessation of monetary donations that we haven’t
got, to countries who don’t seem to like us much anyway.

UK has in place a £1.4 billions 5
year aid plan to Pakistan – yet only some 1% of the population there pays
income tax. Perhaps that other 99%, has very little income. Well, I’m retired,
I have little income, but I still pay Income Tax and my government gives it
away without my agreement. Then, they plan to end the Winter Fuel Payment just
because I live in Spain.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense, if
you are a UK national, does it.

It seems to me that Jewish law,
inspired by the writings of Isaiah, has it right. Family members have
precedence over other needy individuals or causes in our charity decisions.

Charity
begins at home!!


 Brian Clark

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Posted by on Wednesday 14th August 2013

Does the European Health Insurance Card give you free medical treatment in Spain?

First of all , it’s important to
state that the EHIC, which replaced the old E111 in 2006, is suitable for
visits to Spain only. If you live in Spain, the EHIC has no validity
whatsoever, however this blog we did back in 2008 regarding health
certificates for Spanish residents
might be able to help you.

There has been some bad publicity
recently, where some UK travelers to Spain have claimed they have been forced
to pay for medical treatment, despite producing their proper EHIC. The European
Commission is looking into these claims and undoubtedly there will be a
pronouncement about their findings soon.

In the meantime, it can be reported
that the EHIC is a personal and non-transferable document that certifies the
holder’s entitlement to receive any necessary medically related health benefits
needed during their stay in Europe, in accordance with the legislation of the
country being visited (that is access to the same subsidised state health
treatment that the locals receive).

It should never happen, but just
case your EHIC is declined, here’s a guide to the steps you should take –


1.  

 Ask to talk to the Billing
Manager, and tell him you know the EHIC refusal in not correct.




2.  

Ask for an “Hoja Reclamacion”. That’s a complaint form that hospitals
hate to have produced about their performance, so at this point they are likely
to give way.


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3.  

If they do not, say that you are going to call the regional delegation,
to denounce their treatment of you, and tell them you are going to call the
British Consulate too. They usually have emergency numbers. Remember though –
if you do not have your EHIC, a passport does not entitle you to healthcare of
any kind.


Remember too that the EHIC doesn’t
cover you for emergency repatriation, if you are injured or taken ill. It
doesn’t help if you have to rent accommodation, or doesn’t cover the cost of
someone travelling from the UK to be with you until you are fit to travel, and
their stay in a hotel room up to that time. Some decent travel insurance
alongside your EHIC is highly recommended.


If you are resident in Moraira -
Teulada Spain you might like to know that there are three ambulance services.
You have the Civil Protection based in Moraira, the Red Cross ambulance in
Teulada and the ambulance service by the hospital Levante IMED, also based in
Teulada, Tel: 965 741 531. Alternatively, you could dial the national emergency
number 112 and ask for “English” you can advise where you live and
they will contact the nearest available ambulance for you.  You can also become a member of the Teulada
Red Cross, whom you could also call directly on Tel: 965 740 950. More info
regarding this service can be found here

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Posted by on Sunday 4th August 2013

dining out in moraira

It’s fair to say that Moraira isn’t the place to experience much authentic Spanish cuisine. Rather, the food
available here is best described as "international”

The exception to that statement can
be found on a visit to Spanish bars in the Moraira village. There you will come
face to face with "tapas”. These are hot or cold snacks, served as bite-sized
portions – and a selection of them will make a very pleasant and filling lunch.

On display, you’ll find such
attractions as aceitunas (olives,
often with an anchovy or red pepper filling). Additionally you’re likely to seebacalao (salted cod loin, very thinly
sliced) and banderillas (olives, baby
onions, baby cucumbers, chillies and pieces of pepper, all pickled in vinegar
and skewered together). It’s likely there’ll also be calamares (rings of battered squid) or albondigas (spicy meat balls) awaiting you.
 

If, on the other hand, you prefer
something more formal, then there are hundreds of restaurants to choose from.
These range from those aiming for the custom of holidaymakers and ex-patriot
residents (at 10/15 euros per head) to those specialising in celebrations of
special occasions (at prices from 25 to 50 euros per person). This latter price
may seem high, and it is, but for your money you are given first class service
and top quality food and wine, all beautifully presented.

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Posted by on Sunday 4th August 2013