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Spain workers' amnesty ends in controversy

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Spain workers' amnesty ends in controversy

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In Spain, a three month amnesty granting foreign workers the chance to legalise their status has drawn to a close amid controversy.

While the government has hailed the operation a resounding success, claiming700,000 jobs have been brought out of the black economy, the opposition argues the figures do not add up. Labour Minister Jesus Caldera said that thanks to the measures only very few workers were not registered: “There won’t be many people who aren’t part of this process”. But, for opposition minister Ana Pastor, the project is a failure. She claimed that only a fraction of those who took part were really in work and estimated that barely 20,000 had a job. To be eligible for the amnesty, foreign workers had to supply proof of residency and a work contract in Spain of at least six months and have a clean criminal record. Critics say some applicants’ papers were fake.