Expatica news

Too many foreigners, say nearly half all Spaniards

22 January 2004

MADRID – Nearly half of all Spaniards think there are too many foreigners, according to a study released Thursday.

But despite this, the number of foreigners living in the country is expected to triple in the next six years to six million.

The current number of registered legal foreigners in the country is 1.6 million, though authorities believe the real figure is nearer two million.

Of these, about 28 percent are from “richer countries”, whereas the rest are from the Third World.

According to the report on attitudes to foreigners by the Foundation of Savings Banks (FUNCAS), 85 percent of Spaniards feel that only foreigners with work contracts should be allowed to enter the country.

Forty percent of those questioned said there were more than enough foreigners and only four percent said there were not enough.

Nearly half of those polled said they did not trust foreigners (46 percent) while 12 percent despise them and only 24 percent treat them respectfully.

However, according to the research, called ‘Immigration – Views and Opinions’ 74 percent do not mind their children sharing school-rooms with immigrants.

Although 28 percent of foreign residents come from the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and other ‘rich’ countries, only five percent of Spaniards consider them immigrants.

The real immigrants, according to 77 percent of those questioned, are Moroccans, although they only represent a fifth of the total.

The number of foreigners in Spain has almost doubled in four and a half years and tripled in the past eight years.

There were 10 percent more immigrants in the first half of 2003 than the previous year.

If this trend continues, says the study, there will be more than six million in 2010 and more than 11 million in 2015.

This means foreigners will make up 14 percent of the projected population of 43 million in 2010 and 27 percent five years later. Currently, foreign residents make up just over five percent of Spain’s 42 million-strong population.

The report also states that the growing number of immigrants has led to continuous legal changes that complicate Spanish immigration law, resulting in greater control mechanisms that make integration more difficult.

On the other hand, results show that the employment rate of foreigners is 16.5 percent higher than the national average.

It also found that 44.6 percent of female immigrants work compared to the 37.4 percent of their Spanish counterparts.

On average, each immigrant sends EUR 3,864 abroad every year and in total immigrants send EUR 2 billion home.   

The report studied immigrant numbers in different parts of Spain and found the highest number of immigrants in 2003 were: Balearic Islands (7.22 percent), Canary Islands (5.48 percent), Catalonia (5.2 percent), Madrid (5.032 percent) and Murcia (4.42 percent).

The lowest numbers were found in Cantabria (1.6 percent), Castilla-La Mancha (1.4percent), Castilla y León (1.2 percent), Asturias (1.1 percent), Extremadura (1 percent) and the Basque Country (1 percent).

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news