Friday, June 10, 2005

Moroccan workers lobby La Linea Socialists for support

Immigration issues at the frontier * Tornay sympathetic, says Ratali

Moroccan Community Association has made representations this week to the socialist leader in La Linea, local councillor Miguel Tornay (PSOE) regarding the difficulties faced every time they try and cross the frontier to drive to the port of Algeciras.

Speaking to the Chronicle yesterday, Abdul Ratali president of the MCA said they had raised the issue of “the discrimination we suffer as Moroccan workers, when we want to cross the frontier.”

Mr Ratali said they had explained to Sr Tornay that this was an injustice, because all they were asking for was to be allowed to cross so that they can visit their families in Morocco.

“Sr Tornay was sympathetic toward our problems and gave us a commitment that he would do everything in his power to help find a solution as far as possible, to this human problem which should have been solved already but has continued into the 21st century,” declared Mr Ratali. In a statement the MCA said:

“A delegation led by Abdul Ratali met with the general secretary of the PSOE in La Linea Miguel Tornay on Tuesday June 7th.

He was accompanied by MCA secretary M Driss, and an invitation was also extended to the president of CITIPEG (Circulo de Trabajadores y Pensionistas Españoles en Gibraltar) Francisco Ponce who was also in attendance.

The only point discussed at the meeting was the discrimination Moroccan workers suffer when they want to cross the frontier, a privilege extended to other persons but not to us.

If we look back at history we can see that of the 7,000 workers who came to Gibraltar in 1969 when the frontier closed and the Spanish workforce was withdrawn, there are only 1,300 left in Gibraltar, workers who have an average age of between 55 and 60. What we are seeking is justice to be able to cross the frontier to see our families.”

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