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18.02.2005 General News

Spanish delegation to meet Govt on illegal immigrants

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Accra, Feb. 18 GNA - A Spanish delegation will meet with the Government in March to discuss immigration issues and how to deal with them, the Spanish Ambassador, Mr. Jorge Monleagre said on Thursday. He told the Interior Minister, Papa Owusu-Ankomah when he paid a courtesy call on him that there are currently about 5,000 illegal immigrants in Spain.

A statement from the Ministry of the Interior quoted Mr Monleagre as saying the Spanish Government was undertaking an exercise for illegal immigrants who have stayed in the country and worked for a period of time.

He said the exercise, which commenced on February 7 was scheduled to end on May 7.

The exercise, he said, was to legalise the immigrants' stay in order to enable them to work and go about their normal duties without fear of being arrested as well as to enable them to take up social securities.

The Ambassador said his visit was to strengthen the existing relations between his Embassy and the Ministry. Mr Papa Owusu-Ankomah commended the Spanish Government for the way issues of illegal immigrants are being handled and expressed the hope that other European Union members (EU) would take a cue from the Spanish example.

He also assured the Ambassador that favourable considerations would be given to every proposal that would be brought by the Spanish Government.

Mr. Arie Van Der Wiel, the Netherlands Ambassador, also called on the Minister and to strengthen the relations between the two countries. He said Ghana had so benefited from over 70 million euros in aid from the Dutch Government.

The Ambassador extended an invitation to the Minister for a lunch meeting to discuss issues on development, migration and other matters. The Minister welcomed the Ambassador and affirmed the good relation between the two countries.

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