PP pledges “integration contract” for immigrants
7 February 2008
MADRID – Opposition leader Mariano Rajoy has pledged that his Popular Party (PP) will create an "integration contract" for immigrants if it is successful in the upcoming elections, which will take place on 9 March. The agreement would see foreigners commit to "adhering to laws, learning the language and respecting customs," and would also see immigrants obliged to leave the country if they are unable to find work.
Speaking at a Barcelona meeting about immigration organised by the PP, Rajoy said that the plan would apply to any visitor to the country who wanted to obtain "permission for residency for more than a year." Immigrants would also have to "return to their country if they didn’t find a job in a set time frame."
The opposition leader also included a sideswipe at one of the ruling Socialist government’s past initiatives, making it clear that there would be "no more immigration amnesties on a massive scale," and saying that no one "would be able to enter into Spain illegally."
The reaction to the announcement yesterday was fierce, with parties such as the Catalan Nationalists (CiU) calling the plan "of the extreme right."
[Copyright EL PAÍS 2008]
Subject: Spanish news