‘City of Refuge’ awaits Syrians, but 2,000 Valencia volunteers wondering when EU will send refugees

Syrian refugees continue to arrive daily to the Greek island of Lesbos. Photo: Yannis Kolesidis/EFE via La Vanguardia
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• More than 2,000 Valencians volunteered to help refugees yet to arrive •

A Valencia city councillor in charge of Development Aid and Migration issues for the city says that footdragging on the part of EU and Spanish authorities with the processing and transport of Syrian refugees to Spain has disappointed the city and some 2,000 locals who volunteered to provide shelter in their homes or otherwise help the refugees on their anticipated arrival to the city.

Valencia councillor Roberto Jaramillo said the volunteers responded enthusiastically in September to a Valencia City council resolution declaring Valencia a “City of Refuge” for the Syrians and others fleeing the violence in the Middle East and calling for volunteers to provide shelter or work as translators, counselors, provide legal aid, healthcare or participate in campaigns to raise local awareness of the plight of the refugees.

But four months later and despite the readiness of dozens of Spanish non-governmental organisations and thousands of citizens to help, Jaramillo complained that only 12 of refugees have arrived to the entire country of Spain and none of those to Valencia, the result of delays in processing refugees that he blamed on the inability of the EU countries to reach real agreement on the relocation program.

► Read the Full Story in Spanish at La Vanguardia …

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