Amnesty to close with 600,000 immigrants legal

6th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

6 May 2005, MADRID — The three month amnesty to regulate illegal workers will end tomorrow with some 600,000 expected to have taken advantage of the programme.

6 May 2005

MADRID — The three month amnesty to regulate illegal workers will end tomorrow with some 600,000 expected to have taken advantage of the programme.

Local associations, political parties and the Church have sought to have the scheme extended without success.

The Socialist government is standing by its three-month limit to give papers to those immigrants in a move designed to clamp down on the black economy.

A month ago secretary of state for immigration Consuelo Rumi said that "every job which exits the parallel economy is a triumph for this process" as "they will be people who will pay taxes and contribute towards social security".

Rumi said prolonging the scheme was impossible without a special royal decree to that effect.

Official figures put the total of unregistered non-Spanish nationals based in Spain at 1.7 million.

Under the terms of the deal immigrants will only benefit if they have work contracts and had been living in the country six months before the programme took effect.

They must provide proof of their registration with a local council dating back to before 7 August last year, show they have no criminal record and possess at least a six-month work contract.

Most of those who have benefited are Ecuadorians (24.45 percent), Romanians (16.59), Moroccans (11.56) and Colombians (9.67).

The Spanish daily 'El Pais' calculated earlier this week that those who have taken the opportunity to obtain legal status will inject monthly EUR 118 million in social security contributions.

However, the conservative opposition Popular Party has criticised the scheme and some of Spain's EU neighbours have also expressed fears that some of those who legalise their status could go on to seek work in another EU state.

Spain has traditionally been a country of emigration but in recent years the trend has reversed and 8.4 percent of the 44 million population are non-Spaniards according to provisional figures dating from January.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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