Joan Collins THE leader of the Balearic Government, Jaume Matas, yesterday accused the central Government, led by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, of creating more illegal immigrants than before the start of “a process of chaotic legalisation”, given that of the 4.5 million immigrants existing in Spain only 2 million had applied to become legal. Matas was presiding at the “Immigrants, the new neighbours” conference, which is part of the Convention “Populares 06” taking place this weekend in Madrid. He explained that there were 4.5 million immigrants in Spain, of which just two million had applied for Spanish nationality or to legalise their situation. He said that immigration is “a phenomenon which creates wealth, not just economic but also cultural”. He repeated that the Institutions should intervene to ensure that “mechanisms are in place which guarantee that immigrants arrive here with work contracts given to them in their country of origin”. He also said that once mechanisms such as this are in place they should be strictly enforced to ensure compliance. Matas also argued for cooperation with and help for the countries from which most of the immigrants come, to guarantee “that immigration is controlled”. He also said he takes a specially firm stand on the “necessity to guarantee the rights of this group and their integration, creating projects and formulas for their participation in the social, cultural, economic and political life of Spanish society”. In addition he called for the Government to take a “zero tolerance” line on illegal immigration and to take strong action, through harsher penalties, against “the criminal groups who prey on and traffic in people who are in situations of poverty in their countries of origin by promising them the hope of a better life”. The immigration conference analysed, according to Matas, “a phenomenon which Spain must confront and solve” and afterwards had an open discussion in the room “that, through policies of integration, immigrants should make themselves compatible with Spanish life”, with recognition of their rights and responsibilities “allowing a freedom of culture which will avoid the expulsion of these people”. Matas announced that, in 2020, Spain will have a population of around 47 million people. Of these 5.5 million will be immigrants. It will be a population where “the old people will be very old”. “A society and an indigenous population which, to maintain their quality of life, must have a birthrate similar to that of Nigeria which is 7.5 percent, which is impossible”.