The First Afghan Refugee Woman Arrives In The Balearic Islands
The first Afghan refugee woman from the group assigned to the Balearic Islands by the State arrived in the Community on Monday, as announced by the Minister of Social Affairs and Sports, Fina Santiago, who did not want to specify where the woman is staying to preserve her privacy.
This is the first person of the group of 33 Afghan refugees that the State will send to the Balearic Islands. The rest will arrive “progressively”, the councilor has indicated.
The head of Social Affairs has clarified that the Community does not know if these people were collaborators of Spain in Afghanistan. “We do not ask for this information,” the councilor pointed out, pointing out that it is enough for the State to have considered that the asylum application they have presented “has enough value to be able to study it.”
Santiago has stated that the majority are families with minors. Of the figure assigned to the Balearic Islands, 22 are men (14 minors accompanied by family members) and 11 women (four minors).
The minister explained that Spain will assess the possible granting of the refugee letter to these people, and if they obtain it, they will be granted a residence permit and a work permit and they will be able to move freely throughout the eurozone.
These people will settle in the Government shelters in Playa de Palma and Son Rapinya, and their community insertion process will be managed by the Red Cross.
Fina Santiago has also indicated that it will be up to those affected to decide if they want to attend the media to tell their story. The councilor has indicated that “they have to think very well” because “they come from a very bloody situation”, but has considered that their testimony can help raise awareness about the crisis in Afghanistan.
Likewise, the councilor has trusted that in Spain they have learned from the “mistreatment” of Syrian refugees, and has considered that “initially it has been done better” than then. Regarding the reception of people rescued by the ‘Aquarius’ of Open Arms in 2018, Santiago has clarified that that case was different because they were declared economic immigrants.
Family Welcomed By The Consell
Apart from these 33 refugees who will arrive in the Balearic Islands, the Consell de Mallorca has welcomed a family evacuated from Afghanistan, but in this case they are not refugees since they have Spanish nationality. It is about a family who arrived on the island from the Torrejon base, currently hosted in a center of the Mallorquin Institute of Social Affairs (IMAS).
The Government Delegation contacted the Consell to study whether the reception was possible, since one of the family members had lived in Mallorca, so they considered that it would be a good solution for them.
The family did not have any type of family support in Spain after having lived for many years in Afghanistan, and therefore they needed a certain degree of help, said the Consell, which has included them in its comprehensive care program for families.