The regional government’s minister for social services and co-operation, Fina Santiago, has revealed that the youth hostel in Arenal, which the government has been earmarking as a possible place to initially accommodate the first wave of refugees coming to the Balearics, does not have the 90 places as had been thought.
Rooms at the hostel are equipped with bunk beds that will need to be replaced by individual beds so that there are not rooms with different families. The final number of places may not be as many as 70. The number will depend on how many beds can be accommodated in ways that ensure dignity.
During a statement to parliament, the minister admitted that the hostel’s capacity will be lower, and she indicated that, following the first full evaluation of the hostel’s potential, it is envisaged that it will take some six weeks to have it ready. Electricity, for instance, needs to be reinstalled.
Though the hostel seems good for the purpose of accommodating refugees, Santiago says that the government is looking at both Plan B and Plan C, as different scenarios could arise.
She criticised Europe for not having risen to the occasion and said that until there was a full agreement, regional governments such as that of the Balearics will not be able to know the number of refugees they will need to accommodate.