Spain to accept 17,680 refugees
Spanish Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, confirmed Thursday that Spain would accept 17,680 refugees from Syria and other countries.
That total is made up of the 14,931 set out by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday, as well as 2,749 who had already been assigned to Spain before the summer.
This number of refugees is the third highest number to be received by a European country. Germany has accepted 31,443 and France, 24,031.
The influx of refugees will lead to Spain allocating 253 million euros (around 284 million U.S. dollars) in 2016 in order to assist the new arrivals in the country. That figure was agreed unanimously by all of the political parties in the Budget Committee in the Spanish Congress on Wednesday.
The Spanish people have shown great solidarity in preparing to accept large numbers of refugees. A large banner hanging from Madridâ€™s town hall reads: â€œRefugees Welcome.â€ Meanwhile, other cities have seen citizens and local government officials working on plans for families to welcome people who have fled from Syria and Iraq into their homes.
Saenz de Santamaria said the Spanish government was working â€œintensely,â€ to not only welcome refugees, but also ensure â€œtheir integration in our country in the medium and long term.â€
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