During Tuesday’s press conference Neus Munté, the Governement’s Vice President and Spokeswoman, explained that in light of the humanitarian crisis affecting thousands of Syrians the President has requested the Government’s Ministries to combine their efforts in order to have a unified “Catalan strategy to host these refugees as soon as possible”. The strategy will be set up in coordination with municipal associations and social entities which the Government will “immediately” summon to a meeting in order to “discern the necessary requirements for refugees” and “to put at their disposal all of the Government’s available facilities”.
Munté informed that on September 9, a few days before the EU’s emergency immigration summit, Fátima Báñez, Spain’s Minister for Employment and Social Security, called in the heads of Immigration of the Autonomous Communities to deal with the Syrian refugee crisis. She added that this meeting will enable Catalonia “to pressure the Spanish government to hold a clear, generous and constructive policy and allocate the necessary resources so that the territories can host these people in response to this humanitarian crisis affecting us all”.
Munté explained that asylum-related responsibilities fall exclusively onto Spanish state competences yet despite the fact that the Asylum Law provides the possibility of delegating some of these responsibilities the Spanish government has never done it. In spite of this, the Government of Catalonia has been working with social entities and has tended to these refugees for several months now. The Vice President also made reference to the International Protection Plan approved last January which stipulates the Government’s specific objectives and actions in the field of asylum, subsidiary protection and refuge for people persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinions, and membership of a particular social group, gender or sexual orientation.