THE majority of Spanish citizens are of the opinion that immigrants make an important contribution to the economic development of the country, although they also think that the number of foreigners living here is excessive, according to a poll compiled for the Secretary of State for Immigration.

The poll, conducted by the Spanish Observatory for Racism and Xenophobia and made public on the Day of Elimination of Racial Discrimination, shows “paradoxes” in the opinions of the Spanish on this matter, according to the Secretary of State for Immigration, Consuelo Rumi. “There is nothing to worry about, the results are mainly positive, which demonstrates the maturity of Spanish society which mainly welcomes diversity”, said Rumi, adding that the perception that there is an excessive number of immigrants was because of the “speed” of their arrival during the last few years.

The study, which interviewed 2'400 people throughout Spain, shows that 61.8 percent think that the number of immigrants in Spain at the moment is excessive.

Almost half of those questioned said that they were in favour of admitting those who ask for asylum or seek political refuge.