The bad

Dear Sir,
The cost of moving home in Europe for my wife and I has been very expensive.
We were forced to pay import duties on our second-hand-tax paid cars, when we arrived in Spain in 1997.
This movement tax on Europeans violates the Treaty of Rome.
We had to pay over 850 euros costs and taxes per car to register them. These bureaucratic costs are 12 times more than the UK. They also are an economic barrier to free movement.

I paid an engineer 150 euros just for him to count the wheels on my car. Another engineer was paid to check the first engineer. A whole industry has developed around Europeans who bring their cars to Spain. It costs just 50 pounds sterling to import a car to the UK from Europe.

I was forced to pay import tax on my father's boat. He is not resident in Majorca. Altogether we have been forced to pay 20'000 euros for the privilege of moving to Majorca.

My wife, a Swiss doctor lost her job. Her diploma has still not been recognised after five years of struggle and despite practising several years as a GP while we were in Germany. She was threatened with forced expulsion. We were accused of a sham marriage. We had been married seven years before moving to Majorca. She has lost five years income and her career.

We like millions of others who move within Europe lost our right to vote and democratic representation. European residents abroad in Europe are the disenfranchised suffraggettes of today. A shame on you Europe, to steal the vote from citizens who dare to move home.

Political disenfranchisement in their new home means that countries like Spain can exploit her million of foreign residents who have no voice in their new parliament. They remain second class citizens. Even prisoners have the right to vote. We do not.

Spain violates the Rome Treaty in word and spirit. The European Commission, talks of free movement, but do nothing. They have not replied to my lawyer.
European citizens whose rights have been violated have nowhere where they can complain nor receive assistance. They must risk their own savings to fight the might of the government in court.

If all European countries violate their contract with Europe like Spain, and if the European Commission continues to fiddle, the future facing European citizens in the is bleak.

Dr. G. Bonsall. Dental Surgeon. Alcudia

The good

Dear Sir, It was with interest I read the article/interview (MDB 14/6) with Mr Michael Holmes, a MEP from the UK. Being otherwise engaged I would not be able to attend the meeting planned for his speech/address and that of other (nationality) MEP's, but from this article one probably has the main context of Mr Holmes' speech/views.

Myself, as someone who has lived and travelled extensively abroad during the last 30 years plus, married to a German national, with two children born and raised here in Majorca, having my home and business here for so long, yet re-visiting the UK regularly, I would like to think my view on Europe, the euro, etc is one that has matured through practical experience blended with a real need to progress in today's world. I think this way I have arrived at a more balanced viewpoint.

The whole concept of a united Europe in respect of trade, free inter-exchange of nationalities, armed forces, co-operation at all levels, c makes complete sense.

To be an isolationist in the modern world is to suffer the consequences.
The USA has formed its bloc with Canada and South America, Asia led by Japan forges ahead as a formidable bloc, which means Europe has only one realistic route forward, ie to unite.

That there has to be an overall governing body is logical, but it should not detract from individual countries/nations retaining most of the control of essential matters, and the European parliament, of which Mr Holmes is a member, should fulfill all the necessary roles..

Regarding immigration and especially the illegal side of it, it has been obvious to everyone it seems, except politicians, that there needs to be control, so maybe that is why the voting public have become sick and tired of the inefficient, lackadaisical way various governments have approached this problem, resulting in the right wing voting in Denmark, Italy, France, and most recently Holland.

This could have been, and still could be, a way Mr Holmes and his colleagues in the European parliament could co-ordinate the various countries' problems to come up with a uniform solution/rules and regulations. It could start with a rule that the original EU country receiving the illegal immigrants has to solve the problem, not allow them to move on to another EU member, or even induce them to arrive via tunnel or wherever!

As far as the euro and its future introduction to the UK, I am afraid the argument against it is ruled more by the heart than the head. Anyone who has in business had to deal with various nationals in different currencies, will know of the headaches this produces, and with Britain trading 60% with the EU, it makes total sense to have one currency as in the USA. Of course the banks are out many billions of pounds, losing out on the exchange of currency (and holidaymakers form the smaller part) and it is all reminiscent of the resistance to the change in British currency when the UK was decimalised all those years past. It's nostalgic to think back to: farthing, tanner, bobs, half-a-crown (when there was not a whole one), florins, quid, fiver, tenner, etc but it was a bit impractical and whilst charming was more reminiscent of the 19th century.

It is time to move forward. No one ever thought it would be easy, but then things that are worth having, rarely are.

Graham Phillips. Palma

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