Spain demands proof of financial stability from expats
Foreigners will now have to show that they will not become a burden on the Spanish government by producing savings documents or a work contract. Those who are planning to retire in Spain will also have to prove that they have adequate health insurance.
Opponents of the new rules claim that they go against the European Union’s principle of free movement. The legislation means that any member of any European country is entitled to health care in any other.
The Spanish government is using article seven of the directive on free movement which was drawn up in 2004. It says that any member of the EU is permitted to define what free movement is as long as it does not prejudice national border controls. This means that the governments of member states are permitted to impose their own restrictions on anybody crossing their borders.
By invoking article seven, the Spanish government is hoping to make savings of around €1 billion each year through not having to supply cheap health care to foreigners. The country is currently very popular with health tourists who come for the cheap treatment, short waiting lists and good hospitals.
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