Opposition proposes "points-based" migrant system

11th February 2008, Comments 0 comments

Spain's conservative opposition on Friday called for the introduction of a points-based visa system for immigrants.

11 February 2008

MADRID - Spain's conservative opposition on Friday called for the introduction of a points-based visa system for immigrants, adding yet another proposal to a draft of measures aimed at making immigration a major issue in the run up to the general election on 9 March.

The proposal, disclosed yesterday by the Popular Party's campaign coordinator Juan Costa, is the latest in a string of controversial proposals on immigration that have trickled out of conservative ranks this week, from forcing immigrants to sign an "integration contract" to banning Muslim headscarves from schools. And, Costa argued, the PP would not stop at introducing such measures in Spain if elected, but would push for the whole of the European Union to follow suit.

"The EU should promote the widespread application of instruments and policies such as these, which guarantee full integration and ensure that everyone shares the values of the majority," Costa said, adding that that the party does not believe in "multiculturalism."

Instead, the PP's policies are focused on integration and assimilation. Work visas, for example, would be granted through a points system based on how much an immigrant's skills are needed by Spanish businesses and how strong the "historical ties" of their countries are to Spain.   The "integration contract" would commit immigrants to learning the language and adhering to local customs, while the wearing of headscarves would be restricted to prevent "discrimination" against women.

Critics, including the Socialist government, complain that the proposals are xenophobic, especially after the PP's employment secretary, Miguel Arias Cañete, accused immigrants on Thursday of overloading hospitals.

[Copyright EL PAÍS / ANGELES ESPINOSA 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

 [Copyright EL PAÍS 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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