COMMUNITY LIFE IN SPAIN
We didn’t sleep well. Just before goint to bed yesterday, we read Boris’ message on the community’s Signal-app. “I have been asked to translate this communication form the townhall but given it is an emergency AND TIME IS OF ESSENCE I will just ask for people to put the word out to travellers from other areas who are making their way towards the various park-ups around us here. It is not allowed because of the coronavirus-situation. Only those who actually live here already can go in and out for any of the state-of-emergency-reasons: to buy food, to seek medical help, etc. If people do not turn back of their own accord and park up away from the already saturated areas they are being fined.
This is causing a chaotic situation for all concerned and will make lives of those who really do live here very difficult. TELL ANYONE YOU KNOW WHO IS ON THE ROAD TO TURN BACK NOW. Thank you.
A suggestion is to self-organise the park-ups so that only those who can prove that they live here are the ones who go into town individually with their papers and can do the shopping for others. Those who have difficulty accepting the gravity of the situation should read what doctors and nurses are sharing right now. It is a complete health crisis in the Spanish hospitals. Please observe the directions of the Spanish authorities no matter how much they may rub up on your idea of civil liberties.”
Last Saterday, two Dutch families and a German family had come in campervans, looking for a place to stay. We couldn’t offer them a place on our field, and warned them against staying on the public riverbed-road in front of our field. We used to park our cars there, and a few weeks ago, the Guardia Civil had told us we were not allowed to do that anymore. Also, as a community we were just preparing to retreat inwardly, so it was an unfortunate timing for new faces to arrive. They were nice people though, understood the situation, and moved on down the river, where somebody else allowed them to park on their land. That is, until the Guardia Civil came to send them home anyway. Apparently under some kind of threat of taking their children away from them, which seemed totally out of proportion to me. Even though it was hearsay, that detail has stuck with me and I should ask a bit more about that from the person who told me this.
The app message continued with the decree from the local municipality, in Spanish, followed by Boris’ translation: “Access restrictions for non-residents to certain places in the municipality. The town hall informs that due to the State of Emergency generated by the Coronavirus sanitary control, Article 7, ‘Limitation of people’s freedom of circulation’, The Guardia Civil have set up traffic control points at the access of the different settlements in the municipality in order to ensure that this article is being carried out.
As a result, people will be asked to prove residence. Those who are not residents and those who cannot show they are on the road for any of the reasons that article 7 of the Royal Decree 463/2020 allows, will be turned back. This law allows for the authorities to fine those who do not comply and who do not follow the indications the police are giving to ensure the law is being observed.
Given the seriousness of the health situate due to the tremendous contagious capacity of COVID-19, we appeal to all the people who live in the municipality and all those who need to journey to the city for the permitted reasons, to please observe the Edict in every detail. The reason is to reduce the effects of the pandemic as much as possible.
The town hall is grateful to everyone for making an effort and cooperating so that we can get through the emergency situation as best as possible.”
Of the 21 adults who are living on this field, none are residents in the strict sense; none have ‘residencia’. The two owners of the field, who also live on it, went on a holiday to Marocco two weeks ago and are now stuck there, since Marocco has closed all borders to Spain, both ways. Only three of the people currently here have ‘empadronamiento’ – that is to say, they are enlisted in the municipal registers, which we hope will also count as some kind of proof. But only one of those three has the actual empadronamiento-certificate. The other two certificates are still in use for some kind of bureaucratic process in the town hall itself, which is now closed to public. But even if it was open, they would still have to pass through a traffic control point first, to pick up the document that we hope would allow them to pass through the traffic control points...
To get to town from where we are, you have to drive up from the riverbed, which takes you into a small settlement first. From there it’s a five-minute drive into town. We’re lucky that in that small settlement there’s a wholesaler of ecological fruits, veggies and other edibles. They have a shop, which is allowed to stay open. Were hoping there won’t be a traffic control point from the riverbed up to the store...
Ah, and this is just in. We just received word of a camper-van with two adults being caught on the road by the Guardia Civil last night. They had no valid reason for being there and were fined €3000. Each.
So anyway, this is the kind of crisis situation that we woke up with this morning. And then, on top of all of that, a second crises unfolded during breakfast. The rice-cracker with butter and Marmite that Félix received wasn’t perfectly round. A small piece of it had broken off. Félix was inconsolable.