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Catalonia needs up to €20m to welcome refugees, says government

Catalan administration dealing with around 2,000 asylum seekers

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10 November 2018 11:49 AM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan government will ask Spain for 14 to 20 million euros to put forward policies to welcome refugees, as the welfare ministry said on Friday.

This, after Spain’s Supreme Court ruled that it should be Catalonia and not the executive in Madrid the one in charge of refugee welcoming. Yet judges make clear that the Spanish government is the one who has to fund this policy and transfer whatever needed resources.

According to the ‘Ara’ newspaper –and confirmed by the Catalan government–, a ruling in October reads that “the management of the services and programs addressed at asylum claimants in the Health, education and socialial spheres” is down to each Spanish territory and not Madrid.

Catalonia is dealing with around 2,200 refugees, some 1,950 of whom, according to the oficial sources cited by the newspaper, are part of the state’s asylum seeker program that in the future will be handled by the Catalan government.

From €14 to €20m

The Catalan work minister, Chakir el Homrani, said that the range from 14 to 20 million euros is because they do not know yet to what extent Catalonia will have autonomy to plan a new policy to welcome refugees.

El Homrani said that his department will now “analyze the management” of the services that the asylum seekers receive so far.

For him, “it made no sense” that the Spanish government was in charge of the asylum seekers, because the Catalan administration is the one responsible for welcoming migrants –but refugees were an exception.

Although Spain is the only one with powers to grant asylum, El Homrani said on Friday that the Catalan government is prepared to assume these powers and “ready to accept more refugees.”

 

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  • Migrants saved by the Aquarius crew (by Guglielmo Mangiapane/MSF)

  • Migrants saved by the Aquarius crew (by Guglielmo Mangiapane/MSF)

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