The southern region of Spain’s Andalusia attracts two very different foreigners: the annual flow of fruits and vegetables to the beautiful beaches, which are named after Europe’s backyard.
This is a sad word: when holidaymakers stay in expensive apartments, thousands of fruit drills live in poor, plastic huts.
“A lot of people [tourists] “Come and save us,” said an illegal Moroccan refugee living on a veranda in Niger’s Almeria province. 20-year-old Ayub. Nothing will ever change. ”
Easy to see, Job has been here since he was 17 years old. He is the first year of the Spanish bachelor’s degree and has been in the nearby city of San Isidro to continue his studies, but there are 200 waiting lists.
The only thing that has changed for him since his arrival is that half of his house was burned down in retaliation.
“This place used to be full of drugs and prostitutes,” explains Ayub.
The remaining 600 refugees will live in the rest of the hover, where the garbage dumps are littered with garbage, the toilets are dry, and the electricity lines are stolen along the lines. A few families and children were there.
Many young men and women are now from Morocco and Mali. Like them, Ayub works in a plastic greenhouse that stretches for miles, away from the Kabo de Gata natural park, where tourists enjoy the long noisy Mediterranean and European tour, without knowing the realities behind their shallow pits.
Shantytowns will be added to the holiday villas
The Andalusian coast, which costs up to 250 euros per night, is a magnet for French and British holidaymakers as well as the Spanish.
But this year, as the number of holidaymakers has been declining due to Kovid travel restrictions, the number of people looking for work has increased as the economic situation in Africa continues to grow.
According to the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, the number of refugees entering the country alone was 15,317, an increase of 56.4 percent compared to 2020.
In early July, more than 800 came to the beach in San Jose, Villarikos, Cabo de Gata, and Carbonéras.
Like tourists, they come in the summer, when the weather is better, they head in the opposite direction.
When the Gob tourists land in the Mediterranean, the refugees enter the Sera de Cabo de Gata into the Plastic Sea, where most of the European fruit and vegetables are harvested by a pickup truck.
According to the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty, about two-thirds of fruits and vegetables in Europe originate. Almeria is known as the “Garden of Europe,” although it is difficult to imagine anything other than that statement.
Spread over 31,000 acres[31,000 ha]the world’s largest greenhouse, the richest in the province, has become the richest in Andalia.
According to Maximo Arevalo, secretary of the Union of Trade Unions (ACO), 90% of the labor is done by legal and other immigrants, such as spraying, picking and cleaning plastic roofs.
But as this plastic sea grows, villages, subsequent divisions, and the number of workers are being treated inhumanely.
According to human rights lawyer Ruben Romero, a non-governmental organization affiliated with Sepayim, between 4,000 and 5,000 migrant workers in Niger’s Almeria region, like Job, live in plastic bags and winter and winter debris. . The number may be as high as 10,000 in the district.
Exploitation and abuse
Regarding his salary, 30-year-old Saidu Konkisre says it is a matter of manna – “Tomorrow. tomorrow. No money at all. ”
A.D. After arriving in Spain from northern Burkina Faso in 2013, Saido became the first migrant worker in Spain to be arrested by a former employer for exploitation and torture. In broken Spanish, boss Francisco Gómez explains how he confiscated his Joma Innerneros el-LL passport and that he and eight others refused to pay for a 12-hour stay at a greenhouse in El Ejido district. By the end of the shift, Sidow is expected to keep farm implements in a field near Roctas del Mar where there is no running water or toilet facilities and bedrooms. He was promised € 10 a night.
“He paid for the first month,” says Siddhartha. “Then the second and third he stopped. He wanted to fight us when we asked for our money. My boss still doesn’t pay me. It’s been a month now. All the bosses are bad, ”he said.
Sadou is in legal custody after deciding to report to Jomo Invanderoros. Instead of firing him, the police passed the story on to the CCOO Workers’ Union, which put the wheels of justice on the move. He was injured € 5,000 and now has a bed in an apartment in San Isidro, sharing € 80 a month with others.
CCOO Secretary Maximo Arevalo The attack and exploitation are not systematic but there are many cases where workers are exposed to traumatic events.
“The refugees are scared and there is a lack of information. If you tell the police, they are afraid of being deported or deported. He tells his superiors what they say during interrogations and what they say to the police or journalists. The farmers have the worst labor agreement in the country. They have to pay 7.28 euros but they are paying € 3 or € 4. At most 5. ”
According to Andres Gongora, president of the Coalition of Manufacturers (CRI), farmers are struggling to keep their heads above water because buyers are not paying stable prices for their produce.
We need supermarkets to know how much you pay. It is very difficult to work with uncertainty. ”
Many immigrants believe that the farmers are out of money.
“The bosses have no money,” says 24-year-old Osman from Mali. However, Arevalo dismisses any notion that this is due to unpaid or low wages. “I see it as a treasure,” he says. “The boss’s car to the farm, his golf club, his lifestyle. The excuse that there is no money is wrong. If you can’t pay the people who work for you, reduce the size of your farm. ”
Seppay’s lawyer Romero believes that about 50% of producers do not treat their employees as they wish, while the other 50% believe that they are trying to work properly with their employees.
“There are bosses who really help in providing all the documents to legalize their employees and there are those who have not paid their employees for months. Or what makes them work except for food and boarding. ” “It’s very different. Some of our best practices were with small farmers. We give prizes to producers who promote diversity and equality.
There are 17,000 fruit and vegetable growers in Almeria, president of COAG, and it is estimated that 10% are organic, all using plastic acres without exception – “How else do you do it?” He asks.
Asked if there is a difference between the way organic producers and ordinary producers treat their workers, Romaro replied “no” to Seppam. By definition, a more ethical and honest production method may indicate that it is nothing more than murder, which is supported by reviews on Google for many organic companies. “Welcome to the place where slavery still exists,” says one biosabor. And says, “There is bad hygiene, but the worst is the treatment of inhumane treatment in the name of some responsible people.”
According to Arevalo, when it comes to organic, it’s not just about pesticides and chemicals and water conservation – “There is a social contract and that is something to be obeyed.
‘This Is Not a Banana Republic’
Organic or otherwise Gongora all manufacturers are being brushed with the same brush. He is a small-scale producer from Mali, who pays an official minimum wage of 28 7.28.
“I can’t say that all farmers are doing the right thing because that would be hypocritical. But it seems unfair to put all of us in one bag. ” In addition, there are procedures for filing complaints. This is not the Banana Republic. ”
Gongora strongly opposes the idea that producers have a responsibility to provide shelter.
“I don’t understand how anyone can use housing as a pretext to attack the agricultural sector,” he says. “Neighboring villages break my heart. But I think it’s a social and political problem, and between us, we have to make sure that these people can live in a good situation. Blaming one part of society can easily lead to stress and hatred. ”
Sepayim’s lawyer, Romero, agrees to share responsibility for real estate, but says much of the problem is bureaucratic.
“Anyone who wants to rent an apartment will need pay slips and maybe even insurance,” he said. “Who would rent to an undocumented person, who does not speak the language and is not registered with the local authorities? The council should facilitate the registration of undocumented immigrants. ”
Local authorities in Niger have launched a pilot program this year to provide land for their workers’ shelters to destroy at least 92 Almerian shot villages. The plot in question is 3,000 square meters – the land of the town of Ayub was burned and 8,000 square meters. According to Romero, it is just the beginning, but it does not address the scale of the problem. “It is not enough,” he says.
‘They Will Come to Help’
Meanwhile, several miles from the modern San Jose resort, hotel owner Joaquin Velegas Rodriguez’s concerns about the refugees have taken a completely different shape. “They will come to your aid,” he says. You can get 400 euros per child from the government. And why do the farmers give them their papers? They cost 600 euros and will not come to work the next day. They go somewhere else. ”
Vilgas fears that nightclubs could be affected by the collapse of greenhouse plastics in the Mediterranean or by the impact of street villages hanging on the beach.
“There may be tourists on the beach,” he says. “Some Moroccans are guilty of coming. Moroccan authorities are opening prisons and sending us revenge for the Sahara conflict. ”
Velegas is not the only one who believes these stories. The Vox Party has been marked by the Spanish Interior Ministry in the 2019 general elections for the growing number of hate crimes in Niger and Almeria.
Many point to the relationship between Vox and the farmer, but not a single gourd. Vox wants illegal immigrants to be used to smuggle fruits and vegetables out of the country. “I rarely give vox views,” he says. COAG farmers want immigrants to be easily registered and legal.
Legal status generally lasts three years in Spain. Working in plastic caves for three years; After three years of inhaling chemical sprays and swelling at temperatures up to 50 ° C, Job finished his sentence – he did as he was told.
Once he finds it, he believes he will clean it up. “There are so many such cats in Morocco,” he said. I did not come here to live in a plastic house.