At an event of recognition by the associations of Colombian citizens for eliminating the visa requirement to enter the Schengen Area, Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy expressed his satisfaction over the unemployment decrease in November and the annulment by the Constitutional Court of the pro-independence resolution passed by the Regional Parliament of Catalonia.
In his speech, Mariano Rajoy highlighted the fact that this is the first time that the associations of Colombian citizens have been received at Moncloa Palace. They thanked him for his work at the European Union so that, as from Thursday, no citizen of Colombia will need a visa to travel around the Schengen Area.
“I do so in the best way possible, with their President and my good friend, Juan Manuel Santos, and I do so at a time when we can celebrate two pieces of news in Spain that will please every Spanish citizen”, he said.
Rajoy explained that, first of all, Wednesday was witness to “the best unemployment decrease figure for any month of November in the history of our country”, which should serve as “encouragement” to keep working hard on the “main national objective” – namely reducing unemployment.
Secondly, Rajoy referred to the decision by the Constitutional Court to declare void the resolution from the Regional Parliament of Catalonia to launch an independence process. Mariano Rajoy stressed that this annulment was passed unanimously and, furthermore, affects all aspects of the resolution “in their entirety”. This ruling, he said, “is greatly welcomed by the vast majority of Spaniards who believe in Spain, in national sovereignty and in equality among Spanish citizens”.
Colombian immigration stands as a fine and enviable example
Rajoy stressed that, as from Thursday, December 3, more than 48 million citizens of Colombia will no longer need a visa to enter the 26 European countries that form the Schengen Area. “This is a historic achievement because it directly benefits a great number of Colombian citizens in Spain. For the first time in fifteen years, they will be able to gather for Christmas – in Spain and in Europe – with their loved ones from Colombia”, he said.
Rajoy added that, in his four years in government, he has been committed to Colombia “with conviction and passion, supporting their great desire for peace and working for Colombians in Spain and Europe”.
Rajoy said he believes it is only fair to recognize that the immigration represented by the people of Colombia stands as “a fine and enviable example”. “The extensive and plural Latin American community in Spain forms an inseparable part of our social fabric, our life and our nation. They all deserve to be recognized and defended,” he said.
In this regard, he is confident that the visa exemption for the Schengen Area will also come into effect for the citizens of Peru in January.
Rajoy dedicated the event to the five Colombian citizens killed while forming part of the peacekeeping missions undertaken by the Spanish Armed Forces in Lebanon and Afghanistan. “They are the finest representatives of Colombian citizens in Spain. Honest, self-sacrificing, committed people with a sense of duty”.
Furthermore, Rajoy stressed that the people of Colombia “share our common life project” and we enjoy their talent and entrepreneurial spirit. He finished by saying that “you are part of our history, our future and Spain would not be the same without you”.