Zapatero outlines plan to resolve immigration
28 October 2005, MADRID — Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero outlined a joint Spanish-French policy to resolve Europe's immigration problems.
28 October 2005
MADRID — Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero outlined a joint Spanish-French policy to resolve Europe's immigration problems.
Zapatero told other European Union leaders at a conference at Hampton Court outside London that immigration "cannot be left to the neighbour closest to the door".
With reference to the recent controversy over the deaths of migrants at the Spanish-Moroccan border in North Africa, he added: "Immigration is not just a Spanish-Moroccan problem, it is a European one. It requires global cooperation."
Zapatero had joined other EU heads of government for talks on economic challenges posed by globalisation.
Tony Blair called the informal summit as the UK is the current EU presidency holder.
Zapatero's emphasis on the immigration issue reflects rising concern in Spain about clandestine migration in the wake of a series of incidents along the border between Spain's enclaves in Ceuta and Melilla and the Moroccan border.
Rabat admitted this week Moroccan police had shot dead at least 12 would-be migrants who tried to scale the fences and reach Spain.
The expulsion by Morocco of hundreds of other migrants in the desert in the south or east of the country sparked worldwide concern.
Zapatero said the EU should work towards repatriation agreements with migrants' countries of origin and boost aid for desperately poor African countries.
"The origin of immigration lies in poverty, hunger and misery," said Zapatero.
Subject: Spanish news