Joan Collins
MIQUEL Ramis, Partido Popular (PP) spokesman , said that he regrets the Balearics do not have a holding centre for immigrants.
In his opinion, this would speed up the process of expulsion for immigrants living on the islands who have not legalised their situation.
In his opinion, the 600 immigrants from countries outside of the European Union who have been given expulsion orders are only the tip of the iceberg and in reality there are many more.
Ramis, who was the Spanish Government's Delegate to the Balearics during the last Government under Jose Maria Aznar, calculated that on the Balearics there are more than 50'000 people from outside the EU who do not have legal permits to be here.
He confirmed that this figure was calculated during the time in which he was the Government's representative on the islands, and that this number would have grown considerably because of the policy of Zapatero's Government which had put out an “effective call” to immigrants.
Ramis recalled that, during his period as the Government's Delegate to the islands, there had been an attempt to create a holding centre to speed up the processing of deportation.
However, the project came to nothing because the Government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero discarded the idea after winning the election. “This is the reason that these expulsion orders are ineffective”, said Ramis.
The leader of the Balearic Government, Jaume Matas, also referred to the problem of immigration, taking advantage of a press conference to ask the Spanish Government to apply a policy of “prevention” and “anticipation” to the massive immigration into Spain. He considered this to be the result of “a process of legalisation which sent out all the wrong signals”. “Out of all this dust, we have mud”, said Matas, referring to the Government's management of the situation.
Matas criticised the process of legalisation which, according to him, “has even treated legal immigrants badly”, a situation which he described as “outrageous”.
Francesc Antich, secretary general for the PSIB (Balearic Socialists) replied to the criticisms launched by the PP by saying, “The only interest the PP has in immigrants is their votes, not their safety”.
He added that never before had the Balearic Government received as much help from the Spanish Government to deal with the problem of immigration.

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