First dozen refugees arrive to Spain, while rights groups criticize sluggish relocation efforts

Photo: Spanish Interior Ministry / The Local
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• First group of a dozen Syrian refugees arrive from Rome to Madrid

• Slow processing of more than 14,000 refugees by Spain criticized by NGOs

The first dozen refugees to arrive to Spain as part of the country’s agreement to accept 14,391 refugees from war-torn Middle East and African countries touched down Nov. 8 at the Madrid-Barajas airport on Nov. 8.

The eight men and four women refugees arrived on a flight from Rome amid criticism from Spanish non-governmental organizations of the slowness with which refugees destined for Spain are being processed.

The head of the Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid (Comisión Española de Ayuda a Refugiados, CEAR) welcomed the arrival of the refugees, but said it was a “tiny drop of relief in an ocean of delays” and questioned why Spain had taken so long to approve a pilot scheme for European acceptance of refugees and why so few were being sent to Spain.

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