By Tara Rippin • 25 March 2020 • 20:40
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Donning protective gloves, only removing her mask to talk to host Nicole King, Michel said: “We have a duty of care to all of our readers to let them know what is going on in these difficult times as things are changing day by day and hour by hour.
“We are still able to distribute our newspapers to supermarkets, which remain open at the moment, but we also have Euro Weekly News online, which is getting more and more popular every day, bringing our readers the most up to date news.”
When asked what were the largest concerns facing the public, Michel replied: “I think the largest concerns are fundamental as we do not know how long this will last. I was surprised to see how quickly Spanish President, Pedro Sanchez, announced the lockdown extension. People have said to me that under the Spanish Constitution we can only be in lockdown for 30 days, but this is not true, the State of Alarm can be extended indefinitely. We need to make that clear to people, it is our duty.
“But at the moment, we need to think about the basics, making sure our community has got shelter and food.”
Nicole outlined the diversity of situations which have arisen over the last couple of weeks, which has put the spotlight on the vulnerable.
“This is so true,” said Michel. “What we have at the moment is ‘me’ becoming ‘we’. WE have to take care of those around us, this is a great leveller.”
The mother and grandmother said it is important to know our loved ones are safe and well, but we must not forget our neighbours.
“Fingers crossed we are all going to come out of this with our health intact, but financially we will be bruised and battered. None of us are going to come out the other side free of damage, but together we can give each other peace of mind, I really believe that.”
Michel shared her own personal struggles at not being able to see her grandchildren and other family members, while pledging her support to her extended EWN family.
“My job as I see it after 21 years is to lead our EWN people, our army, our family, through this healthwise and financially so they can feed their families. I will make it my promise to do that. But we have to stay positive, if we do not have hope, we do not have anything.
“This chair I am sitting on, all of our cars and houses are all worthless, but the love I have for the people I am surrounded by and the love they give to me is worth everything. That is worth fighting for.”
As small businesses face a very uncertain future, Michel asked readers to support local trade.
“I prefer to shop locally as I am helping my community, the community I am proud to serve. I ask everyone, where possible, to do the same, and remember to wear your gloves, masks and socially distance yourself from other people.”
While Spanish supermarkets appear to be adhering to ‘State of Alarm’ measures, Michel pointed out that there are still members of the British community who are not.
“Please for your safety and that of your family, glove and mask up,” she urged.
With so much news going around at the moment, it is hard to know what is true and what is not, pointed out Nicole, adding that readers trust in EWN to bring them the facts.
“We are all prey to false news,” said Michel, adding: “News is fast and we check the facts and check the mainstream media. We have a duty of care, and these are difficult times for all of us. If we get it wrong, we say we’ve got it wrong and put it right, that is our responsibility. ”
Urging everybody to stay positive through these extremely difficult and worrying times, Michel said: “We have to stick together. Please, please, please listeners, viewers and readers, keep hope. We are all going to come out of this together, please stay positive.”
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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