Spain has three million immigrants

14th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

14 October 2004, MADRID - Spain said Thursday it had serious reservations over plans to create large holding centres in North Africa for Europe-bound migrants as the number of immigrants inside the country rose to three million.

14 October 2004

MADRID - Spain said Thursday it had serious reservations over plans to create large holding centres in North Africa for Europe-bound migrants as the number of immigrants inside the country rose to three million.

"We will not support a project that does not respect humanitarian concerns and human rights," Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso said at a press conference.

The move comes as it emerged 7 percent or three million of Spain's population of 43 million are immigrants, according to figures released Wednesday by the National Institute of Statistics.

Meanwhile, speaking ahead of a meeting by the European members of the G8 - Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, Alonso said he was concerned over certain problematic" aspects, particularly where the centres would be and who would
operate them.

Italy and Germany are strongly backing the proposal to confront the growing problem of clandestine immigration, with thousands of immigrants arriving on Europe's southern shores every year eager to take part in the continent's economic and social riches.

France and Spain are opposed, while Britain has yet to express its opinion.

Interior ministers from the so-called G5 countries are to meet Sunday and Monday in the Tuscan city of Florence to discuss immigration, terrorism and organized crime - and the controversial proposal by Rome and Berlin figures at the top of the agenda.

Italy is particularly affected by clandestine immigration, with officials saying in September that more than 10,000 would-be immigrants had entered the country since the beginning of the year.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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