May 16, 2021

France and Spain agree on addressing immigration from "dignity"

France and Spain agree on addressing immigration from "dignity"



The Delegate of the Government in the Basque Country, Jesus Loza, and the prefect of the French department of the Atlantic Pyrenees, Gilbert Payet, have agreed today on the need to address the "problematic" of immigration "guaranteeing in all cases the dignity of people".

As reported by the Government delegation in the Basque Country in a note, Loza and Payet have made this reflection during a working meeting that both have held in the Prefecture of Pau, and in which the sub-delegate of the Government in Gipuzkoa have also participated, Guillermo Echenique, and the consul of Spain in this French town, Julio Montesino.

The meeting, the first formal meeting between the two government representatives, took place after France announced on 12 November its intention to appoint a coordinator to act as a single interlocutor with Spain in order to correct the problems that, as occurred recently, may occur on the border of Irun, where the French country has returned immigrants against the agreements signed between the two States.

In today's meeting, Loza and Payet have dealt with "different aspects related to cross-border cooperation", although "the issue of immigration has been one of those that has focused the attention of both delegations".

A "problem" that, according to both leaders have agreed, it must be "addressed in all cases guaranteeing the dignity of migrants and, at the same time, ensuring compliance with the legal provisions of the agreements and agreements signed between both countries "and that govern the actions" both of the security forces and the merely administrative ones ".

The note of the Government Delegation also notes the "improvements" produced in this area after the meeting held on 12 November by the Interior Minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, and his French counterpart, Christophe Castaner, after which announced the appointment of the aforementioned coordinator in the French country to act as a single interlocutor with Spain.

According to the communiqué, the meeting between Loza and Payet has also made it possible to confirm the "close" relationship between the Spanish and French administrations "in a large number of frameworks of relationship and cooperation", despite the fact that "the relationship between the peripheral authorities of both States has traditionally been scarce and, therefore, improvable. "

In another moment of the meeting held today in Pau, the delegate of the Government in the Basque Country and the prefect of the Atlantic Pyrenees have congratulated themselves for "the good functioning of the Cross-border Police Station in Hendaia (France) and the important results obtained in both countries, derived from joint police work ".

As for the kilometric queues generated days ago on the border of Irun by social protests led by the so-called "yellow vests" in France, Loza thanked the prefect Payet and the French consulate in Bilbao the "agile and direct contact" maintained " when it comes to guaranteeing the free movement of people and goods across the border. "

Both authorities have also dealt with other areas of cross-border cooperation, such as rail connections and the Hondarriba airport, since Baiona (France) is expected to host the next Joint Intergovernmental Commission on this aerodrome by the middle of next month.

Finally, Loza has proposed an annual call for state authorities responsible for public services of both countries with headquarters in Baiona and San Sebastián respectively, which would take place alternately in each country and for which he has proposed to the capital of Gipuzkoa as the venue for the first edition .

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