Spain, immigrants and Rajoy

by , under All categories, Enrique

For some, Popular Party (PP) leader Mariano Rajoy, who is aiming to lead his party to victory against the Socialists (PSOE) on March 9, is playing with fire by using the immigrant issue to sway voters on his side. While some Spaniards see Rajoy’s tactics as a desperate attempt to get more votes, the PP leader’s comments on the matter are getting more frequent.
At a campaign rally on Wednesday in Tereife in the Canary Islands, he reiterated his get-tough line on immigration by stating that the country was being flooded by foreigners and blamed the ruling PSOE for the situation. “Everyone who wants to, cannot enter this country at will,” he said. “There’s not enough room for all of us.”

Rajoy has recently suggested that one of the things he’d do if elected would be to force immigrants to sign a contract, which would oblige them respect Spanish culture and customs.

This ridiculous proposal by the PP leader is flawed from the start since we don’t know what he actually means by “Spanish culture.” Does it mean that a Muslim must abandon his religion for Catholicism? Must he eat paella on weekends and go to bullfights?

Why doesn’t Rajoy propose a similar contract for the sometimes unruly Basques and Catalans?

If the PP wins the elections with the help of immigrant bashing, we’re in for some very difficult years in Spain taking into account that the economic slowdown will exacerbate matters. Foreigners from South America and Arabic countries will be the hardest hit.

Rajoy should understand that it’s one matter to make populist statements and another matter to put them back in the cage.

  1. savannah

    immigration is a hot button issue everywhere, sugar…really frightening when you consider the results of inflammatory rhetoric, as you said, tis another matter to put them back in the cage.

  2. nemoo

    Hi Savannah, so nice – as always – to hear from you. Pretty scary about what’s going on in Spain. I guess this is one matter that makes the Americas so different from Europe. I’m not saying that similar problems exist that part of the world. When will I see you in Madrid? Your son didn’t get in touch. I hope he had a great time in Europe.

  3. savannah

    resent your info to my son. not sure if we’ll be in madrid again before he and his wife leave in spet. they’ve been there almost 3 yeaars now. hope all is well.

  4. sean

    Difficult to be a foreigner even here in “tolerent” Mikkeli.
    Being a Foreigner in Finland or indeed anywhere (though I know it is very difficuly/impossible nearly in some places) require one golden rule I find- don’t work for less. I’ve worked privately as you know for practically small change, cutting timber, and building. buHowever, when looking for a job proper, with a contractor, or a company direct like Suomen Euro Uuni I always asked for at least flat rate, and the expenses I was entitled to by union law, just like everybody else, which is why I don’t work a lot of the time.
    Nobody should work for less. That is the main cause of the conflict, I know there are other problems, but when you work for less you upset the mainstream/ordinary man, you take bread from his table, and drive him into the hands of the extremists.
    You can’t arrive in hundreds/thousands into a city and start to take over, putting people out of work, and on the basic bread-line, and if you do you must expect hostility. Live in a foreign country, abide by the law, and have respect for people, and the life they have cut out forthemselves there-in.
    Refugees should be treated with the best hospitality by the government, and no expense spared.
    The game must stop of countries using foreigners/immigrants as slave-labour to fund their power but ignore peoples rights secured by their trade-unions.
    Ordinary people, Business, and government should simply obay the law.

  5. nemoo

    Sean, many thanks for your always interesting comments. You are right but people who come from very difficult backgrounds move to places like Europe only to survive. They are desperate and employers and governments understand this. The interesting question is why aren’t migrants paid same wages or have the same rights as natives? Who benefits? The answer is pretty clear. But as long as foreigners are treated as outsiders and marginal people in some cases, this type of abuse will continue. Politicians don’t mind insulting them because they don’t have the right to vote.