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Benalmadena focuses on foreign resident integration

19/08/2011 Departamento de Extranjeros
Benalmadena focuses on foreign resident integration

Benalmadena council has drawn up plans to help integrate foreign residents. The Town Hall is to set up a telephone help service for foreign residents; will be holding a Foreign Residents Day and is aiming to make town hall departments bilingual.

The importance that the resort is giving to its foreign residents is demonstrated by the fact these initiatives are being keenly promoted by the Mayor and the Councillor for Foreign Residents Javier Carnero.

The mayor pointed out that foreigners from 30 different countries make up 35 percent of the population of Benalmadena. Topping the list are Britons, Nordics and residents from Central Europe. Naturally they all speak own languages but although English is common amongst many of them.

When Javier Carnero first become a mayor in 2007 he set about establishing a department to create links with the foreign residents. Before that time consecutive administrations had largely ignored this sector of the community.

In the coming months the foreign residents’ delegation will receive a major boost under Carnero’s guidance. The magazine Monthly Benalmadena will continue but without the political bias and will primarily be the publication of the foreign residents themselves. Both the creation of the telephone helpline and the bilingual administration are also key priorities and will involve volunteers and staff members who can speak additional languages.

In addition all the town’s publications such as cultural guides and municipal information will be in other languages as well as Spanish. Sometime this winter Benalmadena will hold the first Day of Foreign Resident which aims to help their integration into local life. It will not only be a multicultural event but will also honour the volunteers without whose selfless dedication these initiatives could not go forward.

A series of workshops is also planned and will inform expats about the various local clubs and associations and how, if they wish, they can become members.