Tension between Spain and Brazil over border controls

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Tension has erupted between Spain and Brazil over Spanish border controllers barring entry to large numbers of Brazilians, Spanish media reported Wednesday.

12 March 2008

MADRID - Tension has erupted between Spain and Brazil over Spanish border controllers barring entry to large numbers of Brazilians, Spanish media reported Wednesday.

Spain turned back 452 Brazilians at Madrid airport in February, arguing that they did not meet the conditions for entry. Those barred entry reportedly included a sociologist going to a conference.

Brazil has retaliated by turning back around a dozen Spanish businessmen and tourists this month.

Both the Brazilians and Spaniards accused the other country's police of degrading treatment.

Brazil has requested an explanation from the Spanish ambassador, and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva intended to discuss the matter with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, according to the daily El Pais.

The Spanish border controls were incompatible with Spain being the second biggest foreign investor in Brazil, Foreign Minister Celso Amorim was quoted as saying.

Spain has sought to reinforce frontier controls against illegal immigration.

[Copyright dpa 2008]

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