FAMILIES that have suffered the loss of a relative on a Friday or Saturday in Cartagena are being forced to pay out extra money… because no funeral services take place during Saturday or Sunday afternoons in some of the municipal cemeteries.
The loved ones of people that have passed away on a Friday or Saturday afternoon are required to pay €500 more each extra night to have the body kept in the local funeral parlours until a burial can take place on the Monday at the earliest. The law specifies that 24 hours must elapse before the final respects can be paid to deceased person.
The cemeteries that close over the weekend are those at San Antón, Los Remedios, San Ginés de la Jara and San Roque (Alumbres).
Despite the funeral companies making money out of this scenario, they have asked the Cartagena City Council to take pity on the relatives concerned and to hire extra staff to cover the afternoon shifts at the weekend.
A representative of the undertakers said: “All the other municipalities in the Murcia region carry out funeral services during the afternoons at weekends. Cartagena is the exception. Having to watch over a body for an extra day can cause great distress for those involved, particularly if the death is sudden or involves a young person.”
Councillor Francisco Calderón said: “Up until now, I hadn’t realised this problem existed as nobody had brought it to my attention. There has been no complaint.”
He went on to say that things will continue as they are for the time being although he has promised that weekend afternoon burials will be covered should there be a demand from the local people.