STAFF shortages in the civilian registration section at Palma's Sa Gerreria court offices have resulted in immigrants who want to secure Spanish nationality having to queue for more than 24 hours. In fact, the situation has gone one stage further with some applicants selling their place in the interminable queue for 100 euros. The Balearic Argentinian Association issued a Press statement yesterday, condemning the fact that immigrants from Argentina and Ecuador are having to put up with a “third world” situation. The Association has sent a letter of protest to the central government Justice ministry calling for extra staff to alleviate the registration process for applicants. The letter was sent by Jorge Mandado, the president of the Balearic Argentina Association, in conjunction with Manuel Simbaña, the head of the Balearic Federation of Ecuador. Also supporting the move were a representative from the central government delegation in the Balearics, Joaquin Vaquero; a senior Palma judge, Francisco Martinez Espinoza; and a magistrate in charge of the Civilian Registration section, Julio Lopez Bermejo, all of whom had agreed to add their signatures to the complaint after attending a meeting called by the Immigrants' Association. Lopez Bermejo said: “Ten years ago, there were two members of government staff having to handle 411 applications and in 2005, when there were 2'108 such applications, the department had to continue working with the same number of staff.” He pointed out that this was not the first time that more resources had been called for. The ministry had been approached on several occasions but to no avail. Martinez Espinoza described the situation of immigrants having to queue in the streets for “more than 24 hours” to be assured of their applications being processed as being “totally unacceptable”.