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JAVEA LEADS FIGHT FOR EXPAT BUDGET
25% of the population of the Province of Alicante has been allocated just 0.0004% of the budget

Thursday 26th February 2015

javeamigos.com | JAVEA NEWS · PROJECT OPTIMIZA

In 2011 the Provincial Government of Alicante - Unit of Foreign Citizens launched a programme of integration and collaboration which it called PROYECTO OPTIMIZA. This is an initiative aimed at policy makers and technicians of the municipalities in the province of Alicante where there is a significant percentage of foreign residents. The philosophy of the program is the integration of activities and projects among the various municipalities in order to optimize the scarce resources available to the municipalities for a subject as broad as the foreign resident.

The Provincial Government, through the personnel attached to this department, planned a programme of  activities and initiatives which have been very  successful among the foreign community resident in the province. These activities have included programmess for the promotion of integration, advisory service and  for concerns of attention to the residents, campaigns of enumeration, information campaigns about paperwork and legality, and language courses in Spanish. The object of all these programmes is the integration and improvement of coexistence of a foreign population that exceeds 25% of the population of the province of Alicante and that in many cases lacks the knowledge and means for them to be assisted in accessing the most basic services that are available as citizens.

On February 3 of this year a meeting of the Project Optimiza was held in Denia which was attended  by all the councillors of the area.  Oscar Anton, Deputy Mayor attended on behalf of Jávea. During this meeting it was reported to those responsible for this area in the Marina Alta that the provincial budget for 2015 was now 193,223,234 euros, which the budget allocated to the implementation of programmes organised by the Unit of Foreign Citizens as part of the Project Optimiza initiative having only 142,300.00 euros. This is a reduction of some 107,800.00 euros and will have the effect of the disappearance of the funding for items for grants to municipalities, associations and for non-profit organisations all involved in activities relating to foreign citizens.

Therefore the situation is anomalous with a department that assists 25% of the population of the province allocated just  0.0004 % of the budget. The news was greeted with  astonishment by those gathered at the meeting. Oscar Anton, councillor delegate of Jávea in this area, raised the possibility of writing a motion to be forwarded to all municipalities with foreign residents to be proposed at the next full meeting of all those councils.

The Motion proposed to request the refund of the amount equal to the previous year's budget 2014. With that goal, councillor Oscar Anton drafted a motion (see below) in order to acknowledge the need to provide economically to a department that is working and providing assistance to 25 per cent of the population of Alicante, highlighting the high degree of commitment that exists between all departments of foreign resident in the Marina Alta region and in general throughout the province of Alicante

He pointed out and that more than 80% of activities that are organised in the departments of foreigners are free and undertaken by volunteers at no cost to the administration whilst the budget was oriented to basic activities that served to assist in areas such as social services or increase awareness of the needs for registration or courses in Spanish / Valenciano to promote integration. For all these reasons  the Motion will be put forward in the various municipalities in the Marina Alta during this month and will require that the Provincial Government of Alicante, through a modification of credit, restore the budget allocation to this department of the level in  2014.

MOTION BY THE MUNICIPAL GROUP XABIA DEMOCRATICA TO THE PLENARY SESSION OF THE XABIA TOWN COUNCIL

Oscar Anton Izquierdo, spokesperson of the Municipal Group Xabia Democratica in the Town Council of Xabia and on behalf thereof, under the provisions of the applicable regulations, for reasons of urgency, raises the following for discussion at the Plenary Session of the Municipal Corporation:

FACTS

Since  2011  the County Council of Alicante (Diputación) - The Department for Foreign Citizens launched an integration and collaboration program called; the ‘Optimiza’  Project. It is an initiative aimed at the politicians and technicians responsible for the foreigners' departments, in the towns of the province of Alicante with a significant percentage of foreign residents. The whole idea of the program is the interaction of activities and projects between different towns, in order to put the scarce resources available to the towns, to the best use for as wide a range of subjects as foreign residents.

Through the Diputación and by means of staff assigned to this department activities and initiatives have been scheduled that have been a great success among the community of foreign residents throughout the province, activities such as:

· Information campaigns about procedure and legal matters
· Development and integration programs.
· Consulting services and resident assistance.
· Census campaigns
· Spanish (Castellano) Courses.

The purpose of these programs is the integration and improvement of coexistence of a foreign population that exceeds 25% of the population of the province of Alicante who, in many cases, lack the knowledge of, or the means to be assisted, by even the most basic of services available to all citizens.

In addition to the programs already carried out, meetings between councillors covering these departments and foreign residents, have created strong ties and a commitment to collaboration and interaction between the different towns that make up the ‘Optimiza’ network.

In all these programs Javea has been very active and has become known for its model of the Help Desk which has been very  successful in our town, as well as English classes taught by volunteers, lectures and many other initiatives that have been an example for the province.

On the 3rd February, the ’Optimiza’ Project held a meeting in Denia and was attended by the  councillor representing  Javea Town Council. At this meeting we were informed that for this year, the 2015 budget of the Diputación reached the figure of 193,223,234 euros, the budget for carrying out programs for the Foreign Citizens Unit, theOptimiza’ project will only have 142,300.00 euros, which is down compared to the figures for these same programs in 2014 by  107,800.00 euros, this reduction corresponds to the disappearance of budget  items like Grants to Local Councils, Associations and non-profit entities, for activities covering  matters concerning foreign citizens.

 Such budget cuts to this department only cover  staff  costs because it includes the expenditure on communications from the provincial government and other dispensations of which the aforesaid department makes no use. The situation is therefore ABNORMAL; a department that attends 25% of the population of the province has the 0,0004% of the budget. Therefore the charges covered by the Diputación in the 2015 budget in force for the department of foreign resident will be 0 euros.

It must be stated that over 80% of activities carried out in the departments for foreigners are free of charge - i.e. at NO  cost for the administration - the budget was aimed towards basic activities of protection in areas such as social services or raising awareness of the need for registration on the Census or for courses of Castilian / Valencian to promote integration.

To correct this injustice, ALL the members of the ‘Optimiza’ Project in the Marina Alta, propose a motion be presented in each of the towns that are members of the ‘Optimiza’ Project with the aim of raising the following at the Plenary Session of the Diputación of Alicante:

The town of Javea represented in the Plenum session raises the following proposal to the Diputación de Alicante:

1. That the budget for the year 2014 be restored and that in the next proposal of credit amendment by  the Diputación Provincial de Alicante, a sufficient allocation be made to cover programs in existence to date.

2. Once the department for foreign residents receives the allocation (as above), they should then proceed to approve the budget covering the following programs:

* Programs for development and integration.
* Consulting services and resident care
* Census campaigns.
* Spanish Courses (Castilian)


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