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Florida campus, Valencia. Photo supplied

Army of Spanish volunteers to welcome migrants

A Spanish daily newspaper has reported on the huge effort to welcome African migrants to the country.

Published: June 22, 2018, 10:30 am

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    Madrid

    El País informed readers of a veritable army of volunteers, doctors, psychologists, translators and support personnel, adding up to nearly 2 300 people to stand ready to deal with African migrants arriving in Spain.

    Among them are 400 translators, 120 autonomous police and a hundred national guard to patrol the waters and “make sure no one jumps from the boat”.

    There will also be 356 functionaries and officers of the national police to identify each one of the passengers. Almost 200 of them will go from Madrid, according to the daily.

    Pedro Sanchez, Spain’s newly appointed prime minister, agreed to take in passengers mostly from sub-Saharan Africa of the NGO-run Aquarius, after Malta and then Italy blocked the ship from docking.

    But the grand gesture by Madrid to accept migrants rejected by Italy and Malta has not been so great for some Spanish students. Large numbers of student from Valencia were told to vacate their university dormitories within 24 hours to make room for the new arrivals.

    The La Florida campus residence will host around a hundred unaccompanied “minors” from the Aquarius. The migrants arrived in Spain on Sunday.

    The students reportedly pay as much as 750 euros per month for a room in the residence, but Spanish authorities said their eviction was necessary due to the emergency situation caused by the arrival of the migrants, according to news portal Intereconomia.

    Those affected by the announcement, were not happy. “It isn’t fair for my son to be removed from his residence and left on the street in the middle of his studies,” a mother of one of the students complained, adding that her son needed to study German in order to qualify for a new job in that country.

    Unemployment in some regions of Spain is slightly less than in others, but it tends to be one of the highest in the European Union whatever the state of the economy. In fact, it has one of the highest unemployment rates compared to other OECD countries.

    The regional government told RT that all displaced students will be provided new accommodations paid for by taxpayers of the province.

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