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Immigrants cause tensions in southern Europe

Matteo Salvini, the leader of the strong Italian League, was quick to appreciate the decision of the Socialist-led government in Spain send for battle as thousands of immigrants invaded the region.

“Spain is defending its borders,” Salvini said in a statement this month at Ceuta, the Spanish gateway to northern Africa where troops were sent to repatriate people who had arrived in Morocco. Now is our time. ”

He wanted to differentiate himself from Lampedusa, an Italian refugee camp that is one of the best cross-border boats across the Mediterranean from North Africa, and where more than 1,000 unsolicited people arrived within 24 hours this month.

While the situation in Lampedusa is very different from that in Ceuta, where the Spanish-Moroccan alliance allowed many cross-border rebels to return, Spain and Italy share the same sentiment when it comes to migration.

Refugees on the Italian island of Lampedusa prepare to board a train bound for Sicily © Alberto Pizzoli / AFP via Getty Images

Currently there are two major EU regional migration zones: last year 42,000 people arrived in Spain according to International Organization for Migration, compared with 34,000 in Italy and 15,000 in Greece.

Italy and Spain are also facing serious challenges to increasing the aging population.

In fact, just two days after urging the Spanish military to help shut down Ceuta for undocumented migrants, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez unveiled a study that found Spain relying heavily on immigrants in the coming years.

Paper, Spain 2050, made up of a year-long project by experts and experts, said that although the country will have 191,000 migrants a year for the next 30 years – less than in recent history – working age will fall by 3.7m from its current level of 31m.

Such a decline, he acknowledged, could reduce economic growth and improve the country’s economy.

A Spanish soldier stands next to a group of refugee refugees as they swim across the Spanish-Moroccan border © Jon Nazca / Reuters

In contrast, the report said that if the number of migrants increased, at 255,000 a year, the turnout would be halved, reaching 1.8m by 2050.

Diego Rubio, the co-founder who co-authored the report, said there was no contradiction in government opinion. “Combating illegal migration within our borders and encouraging migrants in towns and cities to be acceptable,” he said.

He added: “Spain is open to those who want a better future because it is a cohesive country that knows we need immigrants to cope with the decline in population and to ensure the country’s long-term and long-term development.”

Recalling the risks, the OECD predicted on Thursday that Spain by 2050 would be a member with the highest rates of aging – the average age of 65 to working people – after Japan and South Korea.

Spain still has less concern for immigration than other European countries. According to the latest Eurobarometer survey, at least one in three Spaniards cited migration as one of the bloc’s biggest problems, under EU countries about 44%.

Santiago Abascal, on the right, the leader of the Vox party, arrives at the coast of El Tarajal in Ceuta © Brais Lorenzo / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

However, the issue has been complicated by the advent of the strong Vox party, which encourages migrants even in the run-up to the elections and has criticized the government’s handling of the Ceuta riots and Spain 2050 document. Santiago Abascal, head of Vox, described the request as an “inclusive [Spanish] people ”.

If the rise of Vox has made the negotiations on moving to Spain more controversial in Spain, the conflict in Italy, where the Salvini League is leading the elections, is much stronger.

Particularly due to the shortage of immigrant countries, the Italian crisis is very dangerous than Spain. Last year the population of the country dropped by about 400,000 people – equivalent to the total loss of the population of Florence – a decline of more than a century ago.

But ordinary politicians have been reluctant to say that increasing migration is the answer.

Matteo Salvini takes part in a protest rally in Milan in 2014 © Marco Bertorello / AFP

Salvini and other anti-immigrant leaders have called for an increase in the number of births. When Tito Boeri, the former head of Italy’s employment agency, said three years ago that the country was in dire need of immigrants, Salvini, then the interior minister, accused him of “living on Mars”. Boel was replaced shortly thereafter.

Now, when favorable weather increases the likelihood of a large number of boats moving into the Mediterranean basin, the issue is setting in motion.

Mario Draghi, Italy’s prime minister, has announced plans to cut off illegal immigrants by working with the Libyan and Tunisian governments and redistributing people from other EU countries.

He promised to follow “human” principles while “no one will be left alone in Italian waters”. However, 130 refugees are believed to have drowned off the coast of Libya last month – a tragedy that Pope Francis called a “moment of disgrace”.

Salvini and Giorgia Meloni, leader of the opposition Italian Brethren, criticized those who had come from Libya to islands such as Sicily and Lampedusa.

Some critics argue that anti-refugee sentiments spark controversy. “It’s a very important issue for politicians because it affects the most voters,” said Marta Bernardini of the NGO Mediterranean Hope, who works in Lampedusa.

“The parties on the left are afraid of attracting people, and at the moment they are not showing a clear vision for the migration mindset,” he said.

Despite such controversy, Mariona Lozano, a researcher at Barcelona’s Center for Demographic Study, said that in Spain, the number of recent years should continue.

“Migration responds to the financial crisis,” he said. “Most of born out people in Spain come from America and Europe, but migration to North Africa is the oldest and only way to go. ”

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