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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 May 2007, 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
Expats win Spanish council seats
By Danny Wood
BBC News, Madrid

Mick Blake with fellow members of AIM
Mick Blake (left) is vice-president of one of the expat-dominated parties
Expatriates living in Spain have done well in local elections, winning council seats for their own independent political parties.

In some councils in the province of Alicante, these new political groups won as many seats as the mainstream Spanish parties in Sunday's poll.

Many of the successful candidates are British. They campaigned on issues like corruption in urban planning.

San Fulgencio and Rojales were among the towns where they did well.

The Independent Mediterranean Alliance, AIM, received more than 20% of the ballots cast in San Fulgencio, winning as many seats as the Socialists and the Popular Party, Spain's biggest mainstream parties.

AIM's vice-president, Mick Blake, says his group should have enough power to reduce urban planning excesses.

In the town hall of Rojales, Grip, another new political party dominated by expatriates, won 15% of the vote.

Expat politicians are pleased with the results but say they could have fared even better if there had been higher voter turnout among non-Spanish European residents.


SEE ALSO
Country profile: Spain
17 May 07 |  Country profiles
Dead heat for Spain poll rivals
28 May 07 |  Europe

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