A Huge Win For Pensioners In Valencia – They Can Now Talk To A Real Person

Pensioners in Valencia will no longer be treated like IT specialists, but will instead be able to have their issues resolved by real people.

Pensioners in Valencia, as well as all people over the age of 65 who are registered in the city, will be able to have their cases heard in person by the City Council on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., without an appointment. This is a new service launched by the council to try to bridge the digital divide faced by the elderly, in addition to other services such as the friendly banks project, training, and advice provided in the city’s 50 senior centers.

This specialized service,  beginning Thursday, 7 April, will be available in the Town Hall for issues relating to taxes or registrations, and in the Tabacalera building for census services. Borja Sanjuan, a councilman, stated that this was necessary “to prevent the elderly from being excluded from the system because they do not know how to request an appointment online, and could not get face-to-face care for their personal issues.”

This service will be provided by the district municipalities as well, on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and will include the issuance of building permits as well as the obtaining of padrons and other certificates.

As much as the City Council would like to take credit for this new approach, it was initiated by one of the most famous pensioners in Valencia , Carlos San Juan, a retired doctor who garnered widespread attention with his Soy Mayor No Idiota (I’m a senior citizen, not an idiot) campaign.

San Juan, who is fighting to keep in-person customer service at banks because he feels “left out” by the shift to online banking, has gathered 700.000 signatures on his petition and met with top government officials. He’s a bit of a celebrity right now, appearing on TV not only on talk shows but also in commercials.

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