Monday, January 20, 2003

Spain encouraging a million Latin Americans to emigrate

From Buenos Aires to Bogota, the daily queues outside Spanish consulates have begun to stretch around the block as up to a million Latin Americans exploit a new law allowing them to become Spaniards. The law, which came into effect 10 days ago, opens the doors of Spain and, by extension, of the European Union, to children and grandchildren of Spanish exiles and emigrants in the Americas. The Spanish foreign minister, Ana Palacio, expects a million applications, equivalent to a 2.5% rise in the population. Ms Palacio, from the ruling conservative People's party, said the law would help right the wrongs suffered by those forced into exile by General Franco. But it has also been seen as a way of ensuring that the next wave of immigrants are people who share its language and religion.





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