AROUND nine percent of Balearic families are living below the poverty threshold, a figure which, for the first time, exceeds the Spanish national average of eight percent. This was revealed by the Economic and Social Council (CES) report on the economy, work and society in the Balearics for 2005, which was presented yesterday by the President of the Commission which produced it, Josep Ignasi Aguilo. He put the rise in poverty down to the rise in population due to immigration. The process of legalisation of immigrants started by the Spanish Government meant that in 2005 19'518 people were able to legalise their presence in the Balearics. The President of the CES, Josep Oliver, said that part of the immigrant population which the islands received came with “very precarious means” and “needed time” to overcome this situation, and so “it is normal” that they show in the poverty figures.

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