Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Montedeoca welcomes Pons meeting with ALPEG

Spanish pensions dispute • UK rejects Commission claim

Spain's Director General for Europe Jose Pons has declared that the Spanish Government is fully supportive of the claims made by the Spanish pensioners and workers associations (ALPEG & CITIPEG), following their meeting in Madrid on Monday.

Meanwhile Mancomunidad president Juan Montedeoca has welcomed the "important and productive" meetings held with Sr Pons by the two associations. Sr Montedeoca said:

"As we await the formal reply from the British Government to the European Commission, we all agree that we must direct pressure at London.

We are equally satisfied that both associations have agreed to give a margin of confidence to the Spanish Government which from the outset has considered the pensions as a priority issue in its conversations with Britain and in the tripartite forum," added Sr Montedeoca.

Meanwhile ALPEG has expressed disappointment with the outcome of the talks in Madrid. Speaking to the La Linea press, president Manuel Garcia Bado said that although the Spanish Government supported them, this was an issue that has to be solved by Britain.

He expressed concern that the timescale did not favour the interests of the pensioners, pointing to the delays in the formation of a new Government in London without which talks could not be resumed with Madrid. "We don't have a lot of time left, that is why we want a quick and fair solution," he added.

Meanwhile it emerged yesterday in reports on Canal Sur that Britain has responded to the European Commission by rejecting its claims of discrimination against former Spanish worker pensioners. London is said to have sent an extensive reply which is now being considered by the Commission.

La Linea Mayor Juan Carlos Juarez is behind a demonstration tomorrow, Thursday in La Linea that will see the the pensioners and protesters take some 1,000 candles, lit in remembrance of pensioners now deceased, to the statue of the Spanish worker just near the frontier.

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