Spain declared an amnesty yesterday for about 700,000 illegal immigrants, bucking a Europe-wide trend of cracking down on economic migrants, while striking at exploitation of those working secretly in the black economy.
'We can feel very satisfied,' said the labour minister, Jesus Caldera. 'Almost 700,000 jobs brought out of the black economy - that represents 80% to 90% of all such jobs held by immigrants in Spain.'
Officials said that, with workers' families included, more than a million people would no longer have to hide from police or labour inspectors. Ecuadorians, Romanians, Moroccans and Colombians made up most of the applications.