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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Paris is burning, will Madrid burn as well?

The riots in the suburbs of Paris and other French towns have attracted a lot of attention in Spain, a country that have given papers to almost 900.000 illegal immigrants in less than a year, with many more gathering on the shores of Northern Africa to follow.

Newspapers, radio and TV are asking: Can the same happen in Spain? There are all shades of answers to the question.

A great difference between the French and the Spanish immigrants is that most of the ones rioting in France are second generation immigrants, still not integrated in French society, but kept on the fringes, disillusioned and without hope.

The immigrants in Spain are new and fresh, still with hopes to become an accepted part of society.

Spain must now solve the difficult task of integrating its many new immigrants. If it does not manage, also Madrid may be burning if the second generation is still "foreign".