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Changes in the neighborhood - Chuck Fisher's LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
From Bay Area to Barcelona

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Changes in the neighborhood [ Thursday, 25 Jan 07 | 18:48 ]
ursine1
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[My Location |El Masnou (Barcelona) España]

Renfe PR

Several weeks ago I commented how Renfe had staffed the train stations with informational personnel, only to see them disappear the following week. I guess I have to take back my criticism because the very next week the staffing reappeared and I have seen them daily for the last four weeks. The only difference is that instead of sporting a bright red sport coat, they now wear a more subdued tempranillo-colored sweater.

Farmacia nueva

A scant 15 meters (50 feet) from my building a new farmacia (pharmacy) opened last week. The interesting thing here is that OTC items like aspirin or antihistamines are not available in supermarkets like they are in the US. Instead, you have to go to a farmacia. I am lucky that I have convenience store, bakery, and now pharmacy all within 50 meters of where I live. The convenience store is very convenient since it is even open on Sunday morning, which is a rarity here.

A new role

Last week we had our annual meeting of the propietarios de la comunidad (communal property owners) for my building. There are 3 units or pisos and I represent one of them. This year is my “turn” to be president of the association. What it really means is that I “get to” sign checks once a month.

I thought that it was interesting that they didn’t mind that I was an extranjero (foreigner). For my part, I explained at the meeting that I had been president of home owner’s associations in the US several times in the past.

The biggest single regular expenditure for the association is the elevator service contract. That is followed by cleaning of the communal areas.

Local politics

I received a flier from the ICV-EUiA, one of three political parties that make up the local government. This party is often referred to as the Verds or Greens and they call themselves “ecosocialists”. The ICV-EUia forms part of the tripartite coalition (along with the Catalan Socialist Party - PSC and the ERC, a left-wing Catalan Nationalist Party). The coalition has governed El Masnou since the spring of 2003. The previous 30 years (since Franco’s death) the town was controlled by the conservative CiU party. Local elections are held every 4 years and the next one will be this May.

The flier seemed more of a positive tone listing the coalition's accomplishments and their future agenda. I was more used to seeing “hit pieces” when I lived in California. That isn’t to say that there is no negative campaigning here, just less.

LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Friday, 26 Jan 07 | 08:16 (UTC)
You will also have to do the accountancy, keep the "actas" written (and signed, believe me) and call all the repairmen you need.

I've been the "presidente de la escalera" a couple of times too.

BTW, have you ever seen "Aquí no hay quien viva"? One of the characters is the Presidente de la escalera who thinks himself as a politician.

About politics: If you held an european passport you would be able to vote in the local elections...
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Friday, 26 Jan 07 | 08:43 (UTC)

You will also have to do the accountancy...

Actually we use a agency less than 50 m away which does all the accountancy. I can review it as I have done before in the US. All of the year's bills fit on a couple of pages. I already have a couple years of financial history that I can use to compare. The agency also calls the repairmen as needed.

And we have both una escalera y un ascensor. jejeje

If you held an european passport you would be able to vote in the local elections...

I have also read that some people want to expand suffrage to patronatos without an EU passport, like myself, for municipalities.

Chuck
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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Friday, 26 Jan 07 | 19:42 (UTC)

Re: You will also have to do the accountancy...

The voting right for the council for european residents arrived with the Maastrich Treat in 1993 - Spain had to modify the Constitution, actually.

Voting rights for other inmigrants would also requiere a modification of the Constitution. I don't know if you are too much into national politics but do you think PP would allow this? They use inmigration as one of the stones to hit the current government...
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Friday, 26 Jan 07 | 20:45 (UTC)

Do you think PP would allow this?

I don't know if you are too much into national politics but do you think PP would allow this? They use inmigration as one of the stones to hit the current government...

Yes, I follow Spanish politics. Frankly I don't know of anything the PP is "for", they seem to be against everything these days. And you're right, they certainly aren't in the mood of expanding any form of civil rights.

Carlos
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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Saturday, 27 Jan 07 | 20:29 (UTC)

Re: Do you think PP would allow this?

They are crap. They have violated the "Ley de partidos" more than once... Yet they will rule the next "legislatura"
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