OVER 15,000 migrants have been rescued attempting to reach Spain this year, far exceeding the total of 13,246 of last year, according to the International Migration Organisation (OIM). This weekend, 470 sub-Saharan...
Demo for 'racism-free society' takes over Madrid
AN ANTI-RACISM protest in Madrid has called for an end to undocumented migrants being held in internment centres, and for foreigners living in Spain to be allowed to vote.
Held on the 25th anniversary of the murder of Dominican Republic national Lucrecia Pérez – Spain's first-known victim of racist violence, back in 1992 – the march started from the Roman goddess roundabout known as the Plaza de Cibeles and continued as far as the Puerta del Sol square, carrying banners calling for 'a racism-free society', an end to CIEs, or migrant internment centres, no more Armed Forces at borders and for the Foreigners' Law to be scrapped.
Protesters, who were of numerous nationalities, including Spanish, called for a new Foreigners' Law designed by the country's international community which would cover, among a long list of other issues, an end to all discrimination and random ID checks on the street.
It would also 'guarantee foreigners' political rights', such as allowing non-Spaniards to stand for election in regional and national government, not just in local councils, and also let them vote in all elections.
At present, only EU nationals are allowed to vote in local council and European Parliamentary elections, but even these are not permitted to cast their ballots in regional or national elections.
This is the case worldwide, but is one that numerous expatriate communities have been fighting against for years, since many have no interest in voting in their country of citizenship and are more concerned about who is elected where they live and pay taxes.
Spain, like the other 27 European Union member States, is not permitted to differentiate between EU citizens and Spaniards, as both of these groups have all the same rights and duties.
But Spanish law does not stipulate that non-EU foreign nationals must be treated the same as Spaniards – in fact, this is one of the 25 questions in the citizenship test for those seeking to become Spanish, given that it is commonly, and erroneously, thought that the country is obliged to treat foreigners equally.
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