The growth of foreign resident population in Spain has gone beyond all expectations since 1998. Nowadays, the Balearics is the autonomous community with the highest percentage of foreign residents, compared to the national average, with 4.8%, followed by the Canary Islands with 3.4%. This increase in foreign population, which implies funds for special integration programmes, will mean additional funding to be negotiated because public administrations need sufficient means to provide services: transport, water, hospitals, schools, etc.
While the majority of Europeans come to Spain looking for “paradise” and a better quality of life, others, such as immigrants from Central America, Asia, and Africa come needing either to find a job and an escape from poverty, or to avoid political or religious persecution.
Unfortunately, however, in many cases this “paradise” becomes the struggle for survival, for their daily bread, and must accept all kinds of low-paid jobs where they have to work very long hours, and therefore it is very difficult for them to interact and mix with local people.
“Legally registered foreigners”, The Post, December 2002
I. Answer the following questions using your own words:
1. What does the Spanish Government have to do to accommodate the variety of races and cultures?
- The variety of races and different cultural values is now a reality in Europe. This presents a new challenge for the Spanish government who must aim to integrate, both socially and culturally, these new immigrants.
2. Why do public administrations need extra funds when immigration increases?
- This increase in foreign population, which implies funds for special integration programmes, will mean additional funding to be negotiated because public administrations need sufficient means to provide services: transport, water, hospitals, schools, etc.
II. Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)?
- 1. Immigration in Spain has decreased in recent years. False
- 2. All foreign residents are forced to accept low-paid jobs. False
III. Find a word or phrase in the text which, in context, is similar in meaning to:
IV. Choose a, b or c, in each question below. Only one choice is correct:
1. The Balearic Islands have…
- a. more immigrants than the rest of Spain.
- b. do not accept any more immigrants.
- c. have less immigrants than the rest of the country.
2. Extra funds for integration are needed because…
- a. immigrants do not have to pay any taxes.
- b. they are looking for paradise.
- c. more public services are required.
3. In Spain...
- a. all immigrants find “paradise”.
- b. some immigrants are paid low salaries.
- c. all immigrants are forced to work in agriculture.
4. Immigrants in Spain find it difficult…
- a. to mix with other foreign residents.
- b. to mix with Spaniards.
- c. to interact with each other.