Staff Reporter

PALMA
THE CC.00 (Workers Commissions) trade union warned yesterday that Spain's capacity for accepting immigrants was not “unlimited” and proposed establishing an annual quota linked to the job situation in Spain.

The proposal forms part of a document on immigration in the labour market drawn up by the union, which was presented yesterday by its secretary general José Maria Fidalgo, and Julio Ruiz, head of its immigration department.

The union leaders explained that the annual quota would be determined by a series of parameters, such as economic growth and generation of employment predictions, the evolution of the population and business demands. It would take into account all the possible ways in which immigrants can obtain access to the Spanish job market.

The quota could be revised upwards or downwards, depending on needs, and would be fuelled by offers of stable work offered by firms to cover jobs where no residents could be found to take them.

The unions were referring to workers from non-European Union countries.
The officials said that other ways in which foreigners could enter Spain, and which have an effect on the labour market, were exile and family regrouping. It is by the latter method that most non-EU immigrants now enter Spain, the officials said.

They also proposed boosting contracts signed in the country of origin, improved border controls, setting up a State Migrations Agency to co-ordinate immigration, a single window for documents and reforming article 13.2 of the Constitution so that non-EU foreigners can vote in municipal elections.

Fidalgo claimed that there was no real immigration policy in Spain, adding “if we ask the European Union for a European immigration policy, we must have one of our own.” He said it was necessary to build an immigration policy equipped with all the human and technical means needed, and which covers a policy of visas and border controls, greater social integration, and a zero tolerance of those who employ immigrants in an irregular manner.

Fidalgo said that the model of economic growth, based on sectors such as construction, “functions well with massive immigration, but this model is now exhausted.” Changing it needs a political will.

He also spoke out in favour of public administrations working on initiatives which would allow the economic development of the immigrants' home countries.

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