Just wondering

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March 31

Dear Sir

It is widely thought that the Spanish can’t organise a drinking session in a brewery as may often seem to be the case. One of the reasons is that different government departments do not coordinate; in fact, not only is the left hand unaware of what the right hand is doing, it is seemingly oblivious of its very existence. But is this all true?

Last Sunday, I took a friend to A&E at the hospital Vega Baja in Orihuela after she had a fall. Turned out she had broken a bone in her shoulder and gashed her elbow. The attention was quick, unruffled and generally superb as has been my normal experience with the Spanish NHS.

Likewise, the railway service is cheap, clean and prompt, a pleasure to use and the roads free of delays caused by roadworks and accidents.

Two days later, I attended an appointment at the specialist medical centre in Orihuela city: no waiting and good attention as expected.

Parking can be a challenge, but a car pulled out just as I arrived. I went to the meter to pay, but it had been taped up reminding me that the service was in suspension because the contract with the supervising company had not been renewed nor awarded to another company.

The company that had the previous contract for several years had seemingly never paid the council; didn’t someone notice the lack of funds going onto council coffers? Several cars in the bays had clearly been there a while as there was enough sand on them from the heavens to provide fun for any nipper with a bucket and spade.

Getting into my car to leave, another pulled up to take the slot; as I reversed out some cheeky bugger swerved in front of the waiting car and took the space. I didn’t hang around to see the inevitable confrontation. It proved though that some degree of parking control is necessary.

It seems that every year, there are issues with the seasonal opening of the ‘chirunguitos’ on the Orihuela Costa beaches. This again is to do with awarding of contracts. The relentless determination of the council to build unnecessary and unneeded properties at Cala Mosca despite opposition from the public and other authorities is literally unbelievable.

So, clearly the Spanish are able to provide alcoholic refreshments in facilities where such are made, but when it comes to awarding contracts in order to maintain services, it is seemingly beyond their ability. Why aren’t the parking and beach hut contracts dealt with promptly? They all have a renewal date. In whose interest is it that extra houses are built? Who will award the contracts and what’s in it for them? Just wondering.

Graham Shelton

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