The Adeje-based Focus group, representing foreign residents in the borough, has had a busy year with some new projects scheduled for 2018.
The Focus Group is an informal advisory group established to reflect the concerns and needs of the non-Spanish speaking international community living in Adeje, and to liaise with the council on matters of mutual interest and concern. It has evolved over the last two years with a working group of members from different nationalities coming together once a month to see how we can advance the integration of foreign national groups into the day to day life of Adeje and meets once a month.
The group’s working language is English, but it is not just for English people – instead it is for residents who have English as their primary language, or in the case of some, as their second language after their mother tongue. There are members from the UK, from Ireland, from the Ukraine, and are working to invite members from other countries.
During the year Focus organised or co-operated on a number of projects of interest to foreign residents in Adeje, including the first in a series of guided tours of historic parts of the borough of Adeje. Given the large number of British people in the borough there were also a number of Brexit-related events and public meetings.
At the end of 2017 the group moved the base for the meetings to the Adeje Escuela de Seguridad y Convivencia (the Adeje school for security and social harmony, based in Los Olivos), which is the council’s centre for many international cultural and social groups. And with cooperation from the school there are a number of new projects scheduled for 2018.
In 2018 the group hope to help in the plans for an international day for foreign residents. They are also inviting other cultural and social organisations to meet with them to discuss shared challenges and interests and examine the possibility of establishing an information centre for different nationalities based in Adeje working through different languages.
The event is open to the public, residents and visitors
Are you a British resident here in Adeje, in South Tenerife? Are you confused by Brexit? Have you some key questions you want answered?
Next Wednesday, October 18th, Tim Hemmings, deputy head of mission at the British Embassy, will host a public meeting at 12 noon, in the Adeje Cultural Centre. The event is open to all members of the public, residents and visitors.
The consul for the Canary Islands Charmaine Arbouin and the Tenerife vice-consul and permanent representative Helen Keating will also be in attendance. Adeje councillor for institutional relations Zebenzui Chinea Linares will inaugurate the meeting.
Stability of pensions, availability of health care, retirement rights, job and residential security are just some of the concerns that are voiced on a regular basis by residents.
The event is being held in the Aula Magna, second floor, Adeje Cultural Centre, and Mr Hemmings and the team will work to address the questions of British residents and visitors, many of whom own property here or live here for up to six months of the year and want to see how their rights may be affected.
No registration is needed to attend the event, but seating will be limited.
Department of Communications
Brexit: “Stick to the facts and you’ll know what’s going on”
Up to 100 Britons attended an information seminar organised by Blevins Franks at the Adeje Cultural Centre this week, invited by the Adeje international residents group Focus, with the support of the council. They heard from the financial advice company that in their professional opinion that it was in the interests of the Spanish government to make sure that British residents in Spain were looked after, and that good working relations with the British government continued to flourish.
Adeje councillor for institutional relations and youth affairs, Zebenzui Chinea Lineras, welcomed the attendees and said that Adeje was very aware of its commitment to all residents of the over 120 countries living in the borough. He said they would be interested in all the suggestions and ideas that came out of the conference and hoped the questions many people had would be addressed.
“Rajoy and Theresa May are thick as thieves”, Wayne Sheridan told the conference, saying that Theresa May was on the plane to Spain to speak to Rajoy within 24 hours of his confirmation as leader of the country following the most recent election here. “Rajoy has too much to lose”, Sheridan said, pointing to the €30 billion that he would forfeit, “if he gets it wrong”. He said that personally he hadn’t been a fan of Brexit but that to date Theresa May hadn’t put a foot wrong in her negotiations with the EU and he firmly believed that both the rights of EU citizens in Britain and those of British residents here in Spain were not under threat.
Paul Montague, the other speaker from Blevins Franks, dealt with the exchange of information between governments regarding taxes, and the need for full declaration of assets in both countries. He also stressed the huge importance of legitimising your situation here, something that echoed the earlier contribution of Clio O’Flynn, who spoke about the importance of registering on the ‘Padrón’, and the multitude of benefits for the resident as well as local government.