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Spain feels immigrant strain

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Spain feels immigrant strain


With the arrival of the latest wave of illegal migrants, Spains socialist Government is under increasing pressure to resolve the country’s growing immigration problem. More than 22,000 Africans seeking a better life in Europe have arrived in the Canaries so far this year, five times more than those who arrived in all of 2005. Spanish First Vice-President, Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, called for political unity on the issue. She says all of the things proposed by the opposition have already been done. Instead, she invited the Popular Party to join the Government in a ‘national immigration pact’.

However the spokesman for the PP said it may already be too late. Eduardo Zaplana said that before any agreement could be reached, the Government must first realise that it made grave mistakes in the past regarding immigration. The Government granted an amnesty for more than half a million illegal immigrants last year. Meanwhile a team of police and diplomats from Senegal are currently in the Canary Islands to identify countrymen; after 118 exhausted Africans arrived illegally by boat on Sunday. A recent poll showed immigration is the problem most worrying Spaniards.

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