By Humphrey Carter
MAJORCANS are becoming increasingly concerned about immigration and 60 percent maintain that there are now too many immigrants on the island.
The latest Gadeso poll into the primary concerns of Balearics residents, has revealed that in Majorca, and even more so in Ibiza, the majority of people believe there are too many immigrants - 62 percent in the case of Ibiza. In Minorca and Formentera, where there are significantly less immigrants, a little less than half believe there are too many.
Here in Majorca, and Ibiza, immigration is now the population's second main concern, on par with the rest of Spain, with housing continuing to be most people's biggest worry. What is more, while 59.6 percent maintain there are too many immigrants, a further 34 percent of the Majorcan population believe that there are enough immigrants on the island. In Minorca, the figure is slightly higher at 40 percent.
86 percent of the population agrees that immigrants should be refused entry if they do not have an employment contract while 7.5 percent of Majorcans claim that the borders should be closed and no more immigrants allowed into the country. What is more, an average of 43 percent of each of the islands' population fear that continued growth in immigration with lead to lower wages.
One if five people believe that immigrants should be expelled if they are unemployed for a long period of time while as many as 80 percent would like to see immigrants expelled for committing a serious crime. However, it would appear that, as far as most Balearic residents are concerned, those immigrants who obey the rules and regulations, should therefore be given full access to health care, public education and the opportunity to bring their family to live with them.
But, while there may appear to growing animosity towards immigrants in the Balearics, emigration of people born in the Balearics to other regions of Spain has increased by 22 percent. According to the National Institute of Statistics (INE), the number of Balearic residents migrating to other regions of the country is steadily incresaing. The number of local people born on the Islands who decide to abandon the Balearics over the past ten years has increased by 22.72 percent.
In 1996, says the Institute, 37'979 people originally born on one of the four islands, were living in another part of Spain. By 2005, a decade later, the figure is 46'609 and this figures fail to account for who have moved outside Spain all together. Here in Spain, the most popular destination is Andalusia.
One in every four people who are born in the islands but have moved to the mainland have chosen southern Spain.
Catalunya and Valencia are also popular destinations, as are Madrid, the Canary Islands and Castilla-La Mancha.


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