Food for thought in Covid times

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San Jaime
Email
February 4

Last week we received a summons as witnesses in a tricks robbery committed against us in January two years ago.

The police had been looking for us, as we first bought our own house on 18.02.2019. We first received the summons on Monday evening, January 18, which said we were to be in court on Wednesday January 20.

We immediately informed the police that we were very worried about going to Benidorm, as we were almost exclusively staying at home due to the restrictions.

There was not much to discuss however, as he only knew as much English as we Spanish. He referred to a telephone number on the call, which never replied.

I called our legal adviser the next day and asked, if he could get us exempt from meeting, as I was anxious to go there because of Corona.

He informed us that it was a civic duty and that the whole judicial system would otherwise collapse, if one did not follow such a call. Our age and risk of becoming infected did not interest him, even though my husband is 87 years old. So we went to Benidorm.

We had, at the second meeting at the police station in Benissa in 2019, identified a woman and the perpetrator, and believe that it was him as we now stood together with him in the hallway in front of the courtroom.

The woman had not followed the invitation to appear, so we never got to the judge. An interpreter was present. Through him we got some information and after an hour, were told we could go home again. To say goodbye, the interpreter shook my hand, and as a reflex, unfortunately I did not refuse.

Already on Friday night I had like growing pains all over my body, and on Saturday and Sunday I was feeling really bad and was sweating extremely.

On Monday I got an early appointment with our doctor, and was tested positive with Covid-19.

Manfred, my husband, got a negative test on Tuesday, but on Wednesday he got very bad as well, and on Thursday the test gave a positive result.

We can certainly not complain that the court is doing its job, but the state cannot, on the one hand, impose all possible restrictions and order people to stay at home, and on the other hand force witnesses to appear, without the possibility of contacting them, via the telephone number of the summons.

Surely the police would have been able to build a bridge, so that we did not have to go to Benidorm.

Also we have not yet received a reply to a later email asking for contact with our interpreter. The Danish Embassy in Madrid has also on our behalf tried to contact the court over the last week.

It is not enough that tourism is an important source of income for the Spanish economy, it also entails a responsibility towards the people who give this income.

Alice Waldner

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