Madrid and Paris lock horns over migrant amnesties
29 September 2006, MADRID — France's interior minister Nicholas Sarkozy asked other EU counterparts on Friday to ban immigrant amnesties.
29 September 2006
MADRID — France's interior minister Nicholas Sarkozy asked other EU counterparts on Friday to ban immigrant amnesties.
At a conference in Madrid, the right-wing minister asked other ministers not to repeat Spain's mass legalisation of 580,000 immigrants last year.
In an interview with the French daily Le Monde published on Thursday, Sarkozy revealed the plan.
It followed Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's warning to France the day before, in which he said France should "not to give Spain any lessons" on immigration policy.
The Spanish prime minister said after a series of summer riots across France, Paris could hardly lecture Spain on how to manage mass immigration.
Spain called the EU immigration and foreign ministers' conference after mounting concern over its ongoing immigration crisis.
Madrid hopes a common policy can be agreed.
But the Spanish daily El Pais said it had not expected a political row would blow up with France over the issue.
Paris is concerned many of the 26,000 immigrants who arrived in Spain this year are from Western Africa and will move to France.
Spain's mass amnesty, designed to get hundreds of thousands of migrants out of the black economy and paying taxes in return for legal residence, has proved controversial.
Conservatives in the European Parliament had tried to introduce a motion to condemn the move.
Spain's socialist government claims the legalised immigrants have had an 'enormous' impact, making up almost all the EUR 8 billion budget surplus expected for next year.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news