After the outbreak of war in ukraine, 110,000 refugees have arrived in Spain to start a new life, away from bombs and destruction. These are the data handled by the central Executive, although there are only 47,000 displaced persons officially registered, as revealed by the president Pedro Sanchez this Friday after visiting the reception center of La Fira de Barcelona. in Catalonia, 7,954 Ukrainians already have a temporary protection permit, although the Generalitat maintains that there are 19,000 refugees served. “We are setting an example of collaboration, cooperation and coordination,” said the president in his appearance before the media.
The Reception, Care and Referral Center for Ukrainian refugees opened its doors on March 18 in a pavilion at the Fira de Montjuïc, although there are other similar ones in Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid), Alicante (Valencian Community) and Málaga (Andalusia). . These facilities are used to care for and advise children, women and the elderly who seek shelter in Barcelona, offer them a roof in a hotel or boarding house, and also process temporary protection permits, that is, the papers to reside and be able to work legally in Spain. The place is full of chairs where the refugees wait to be served, there is also a canteen where they can eat and a small playroom where children play and entertain themselves with Red Cross volunteers. The one in Barcelona is the third center that Pedro Sánchez has visited and he did so this Friday accompanied by the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau; the ‘consellera’ of Igualtat, Tania Verge; the Minister for Inclusion, Jose Luis Escrivá, and the President of the Barcelona Provincial Council, Núria Marín.
In his appearance before the media, without questions, Pedro Sánchez stated that the conflict in Ukraine “challenges us all” and underlined that the attack by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, against the Slavic country “is a barbaric act” that “attacks the European project, rights and freedoms, democracy and peace”. “I am convinced that Ukraine will resist, Europe will prevail and war crimes will not go unpunished”, added the head of the Spanish Executive. He also thanked the administrations and NGOs that participate in the reception system for their work and assured that the more than 100,000 refugees who have arrived in Spain, and those who will do so in the future, will have “the greatest possible attention and help so that they feel at home, and when the war is over they can return to their country”.
For her part, the mayor Ada Colau has defended Barcelona as “host city”. “It is a volume of arrivals that we had not seen in a long time and we work together so that this barbarism stops and no one has to flee their country and their home,” said Colau, who also praised the collaboration of the different administrations in the device. the minister Write has thanked the “tight job” with the Generalitat, especially to guarantee access to education and health for refugees.
The ‘minister’ of Igualtat, Tania Verge, has criticized that the way of proceeding in the care of Ukrainian refugees should be extended to other people fleeing conflicts around the world. “Europe has shown that it can be welcomed in another way, this standard must stay”he stressed, before adding that the Government’s strategy is distribute the Ukrainian refugees to different municipalities Catalans to “avoid stressing services”. The head of Igualtat has also promised to return to the Catalan municipalities the expenses they have had to face due to the arrival of displaced people, and has announced “aid to Ukrainian families” who are hosting refugees.
Half, without papers
According to data from the Generalitat, nearly 70% of the refugees who have arrived in Catalonia are not staying in the hotels authorized by the Red Cross, but rather they do it at the house of compatriots. They are a total of 19,000 people, but more than half still do not have temporary protected status. The agents of the National Police have processed 4,703 files in La Fira de Barcelona, but we must also add the 1,168 that have been processed by the Girona police stations, the 1,061 in Tarragona and 1,022 in Lleida.
“They gave me an appointment for June, and until I have these papers I will not be able to start working here,” he complained in the same room. Alexandra Tomashevska, a Ukrainian woman who has been staying in a Red Cross hotel for 10 days. “The worst thing is this wait, not being able to do anything,” she said in English as she listened, without understanding them, to the politicians’ statements.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.