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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

2,5 million foreigners

There are now 2,5 million foreign residents living in Spain.
The country that in the sixties was one of the greatest exporters of emigrants to Northern Europe, is becoming one of the countries with the highest number of immigrants.

Just 10 years ago, the main component among the foreign residents in Spain were the foreign property owners from Northern Europe. Our number has not been declining, but we have been surpassed by the immigrants from the third world, from Northern Africa and South America.

We can see the trend clearest in the province of Alicante:
During last year the number of foreigners with a residence permit increased by 51.710 people, from 118.917 to 170.697. This spectacular increase is caused by the special process of legalisation of the many illegal immigrants staying in the province, but also the increased number of foreign property buyers from Northern Europe.

Alicante province has only 3,8% of the total population of Spain, but 6,5% of all foreign residents in the country, and 54% of all the foreigners in the Valencia region.

We do not expect that the number of foreigners will increase with the same force during this year, even if we know that there are still reserves: There are still a great and growing number of illegal immigrants, looking for papers and work, and there are still many foreign owners from Northern Europe, staying for a long part of the year as tourists.

It is sad to see that as the number of foreign property buyers and residents increases, the interest from the Valencia government for our group is diminishing. They look upon the foreign property buyers and owners exclusively
as a commercial market to be exploited, and as tax subjects filling the coffers of the regional and local administration.

We would have preferred to be seen as….European citizens.