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Natalia Rigo Olafsson Lawyer and First Class Swedish Consul

It’s a very busy morning in the office of Montis Law Firm in Palma, the highly acclaimed law firm that has been Natalia’s workplace for over 25 years. Natalie mainly works with international clients, many Swedes of course, and his specialty is real estate law.

Montis Lawyers was founded in 1983. Since then it has always been one of the leading law firms in Mallorca and the Balearic Islands. Currently, the firm has eight lawyers and two labor relations graduates.

In addition to being a leading lawyer, held the title of Consul of Sweden in Majorca since 2004. The pandemic has changed the way they work at the consulate as there are only two people in the office, Natalia and Maria Font, the chancellor.

The tasks have changed over the years and since 2011 they no longer issues Swedish passports at the consulate. The terrorist attack in the United States led to a revision of procedures and the biometric passports that are now being produced require equipment that is not available in consulates but only in embassies around the world. Unfortunately, there is only one machine in all of Spain, which is at the Embassy in Madrid. “We can always help with emergency passports, and we also operate as a delivery point for passports made in Sweden or Madrid so that Swedes living here will have a little easier time getting their new passports and not not have to travel to Madrid twice during the process. .”

We talk about what has changed in the last two years of the pandemic and Natalia says that it is not known how many Swedes actually live in Mallorca all year round, because the European Union does not allow authorities to count where each lives in the Union. What we do know is that people have encountered difficulties because they have not been registered correctly in Spain and in the Spanish healthcare system. When Spain started vaccinating, many Swedes realized they had to return home to Sweden if they wanted to get vaccinated. “I think many have decided to sign up for Spanish healthcare after this incident,” she said.

Otherwise, the main task of the consulate is to assist in the registration of births and deaths of Swedish citizens in Majorca. Election years are also important because Swedish passport holders can visit the consulate and vote in parliamentary elections.
Natalia is a very social person and is often seen representing Sweden at official events and cocktail parties in a normal year. “We were the first to stop going out when the pandemic started. I have elderly parents and school-going children in our family and we have been extremely careful,” she says. “Hopefully this year will be the year we can go again without endangering those we love. The representation people see are the social events, but we represent Sweden in different ways, for example conferences and meetings with local authorities such as the army and the local police. They work closely with the consulate and we ensure that we are informed if there is a problem. We also have a system where we keep in touch with the officials of other countries represented on the island, and together we have drawn up an emergency and relief plan on how and where to act in the event of a major emergency or incident. This plan was put in place after the tsunami in Thailand and was put updated every year since.

I asked Natalia what was the best to have two jobs and she says she likes her job very much because the tasks are so different: one day she helps someone who wants to buy the house of their dreams; the next day, she represents Sweden at a military strategy meeting.

“The diversity of tasks makes my job fun and even though some days are long I find balance and have fantastic help from Maria and the Montis team when needed.”