Spain Travel Safety


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February 6, 2008

Since 1999 Spain has had a shortage of workers for low skill and wage positions. This prompted the opening for a flood of immigrants from Romania and other parts of the world including Africa and Latin America. Many of the positions filled by foreigners have been in the construction and agricultural sectors. However, with a looming downturn in the economy, many sociologists are concerned that there will be an upturn in crime involving gangs and that immigrant neighborhoods will turn into immigrant ghettos. It is also feared that radical Islamists will entrench themselves in Spain demonstrated by the arrest last week of Pakistanis and an Indian. It is alleged that they were planning a bombing in Barcelona under the direction of al-Qaeda. There are 4.5 million foreigners in Spain with a recent unemployment rate of 12%. Many young immigrants have had difficulty assimilating into mainstream Spanish society and have joined gangs and become part of the criminal element. Financial Times

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