Cause for caution about Palma’s desire to help ease the EU migrant crisis. | ISMAIL ZITOUNY


There were mixed reactions yesterday to the news that Palma City Council wants to step in and help the EU migrant crisis by offering aid and shelter.

Nobody is denying the fact that these people, especially those fleeing war zones like Syria, deserve to be given safe haven but there are concerns that the situation is getting out of control.

Long-term British resident and former Labour Party supporter who now votes for the Spanish Socialist Party, Nigel Skinner, said yesterday that Palma City Council needs to remember that “charity starts at home.” “Firstly, I applaud the local authorities for having secured health care for immigrants, but they need to be careful by offering to throw open their doors to Syrian refugees. Obviously, we want people to be safe but these problems can’t be solved overnight. To begin with, the council should be dealing with the homeless and the needy already here on the streets of Palma. All those people, living in cardboard shacks along the river and under the motorway flyovers. We need to get our house in order before we start taking in any more migrants.

“I appreciate these people want safety and to get to a civilised country, but here in our adopted homeland people have to be thinking about whether Palma or even Majorca has got the resources and finances to look after scores of migrants over the top of the thousands which are already having to be looked after. There are asylum laws, and what the EU should be doing is making these migrants register in the first EU country they reach. They may not like Hungary, but at least their lives are no longer in danger. They should not be given the chance to demand which country they go to and that’s what happening", Skinner said.