NY Interfaith Immigration

Margallo: «We can only welcome those who can give us a decent life»

The Government has asked the European Commission to take more account of the unemployment in Spain and the efforts that this country has made to control immigration from Africa.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Manuel García-Margallo, defended this Tuesday that Spain welcomes “only those immigrants” to whom it can offer “a decent life”, giving them “work, education, health and social services” . For this reason, he explained, the Government has asked the European Commission to take more into account the unemployment that exists in Spain and the efforts that this country has deployed to control immigration from Africa when it comes to dividing among the countries of the EU to asylum seekers already on Community territory.

The quotas proposed by Brussels are based on four criteria: GDP and population size, which weigh 40% each, and the unemployment rate and the average number of processed asylum claims and relocated refugees between 2010-2014, which they weigh 10%. In the session of control to the Government in the Senate, the representative of the Catalan Entity of Progrès, Joan Sabaté (PSC), has asked the Government to respond “without delay and without excuses” to the effort that Brussels calls on the Member States to welcome these asylum seekers.

And it must do so mainly, he stressed, for two reasons. First “for humanitarian reasons”, but also because Spain has also been a source country for emigrants and political asylees. García-Margallo has replied to the senator that “Spain is” probably “one of the most caring countries in the world” in matters of immigration and asylum and has valued the country’s permanent effort to be present in peacekeeping missions throughout the world, a task that has linked to “the root” of the problem caused by the existence of refugees and asylum seekers.

But it has also vindicated the role that Spain plays in favor of conflict prevention, with diplomatic mediation initiatives and others that work in favor of a better understanding between religions and cultures, such as the Alliance of Civilizations or the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue. The minister has once again insisted that Spain is the European country that has “made the most effort” to control its borders, which are also those of the EU. If in 2006 39,180 illegal immigrants arrived on the Spanish coast, that number fell in 2014 to 4,552, he noted.



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