Barcelona, Madrid still awaiting refugees’ arrival, with food, shelter and budget set aside for months

Former military widows' housing Casa Bloc de Sant Andreu awaits refugees in Barcelona. Photo: Ferran Nadeu / El Periódico
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• Officials blame Spanish government for ongoing delays in refugees’ arrival •

Officials in the Spanish capital of Madrid and in the country’s second-largest city, Barcelona, say that city resources have been set aside for months in anticipation of the arrival of thousands of Syrian refugees, but the Spanish government has yet to process the arrival of a single refugee and has kept the cities’ officials in the dark over the delays.

In Barcelona, a municipal government commission has been waiting since September for the arrival of refugees, with volunteers at the ready and more than 500 beds made available at the former military widows’ residence of Casa Bloc de Sant Andreu, the Conreria shelter in the town of Tiana and the Sant Joan de Déu social assistance centre in Manresa.

In Madrid, city officials say they are disillusioned with the foot-dragging of the federal government, noting that the city has set aside a refugee-assistance budget of 10 million euros, is ready to accomadate as many as 250 refugee families and has already collected thousands of pounds of foodstuffs that may go to waste if the refugees do not arrive soon.

► Read the Full Story in Spanish at El Periódico …

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