Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Border Wall Finds Appeal in 40% Muslim City in Spain

Border Wall Finds Appeal in 40% Muslim City in Spain


Everyone has their limits. And the calls for national sovereignty are winning supporters in the areas that have suffered the most from unlimited and unrestricted migration.

Gabriel, a retired military member with a thin mustache and a blue tracksuit, says he will vote for the far-right group Vox at the upcoming local election of May 26. “I have always voted for the PP [Popular Party], but I am going to vote for Vox to see if they change things a bit,” he says.

Vox’s promise to build a wall along the Moroccan border and its defense of the “Mediterranean, European and Western way of life” has won great support in Ceuta.

Gabriel’s opinions reflect this shift to the right. “I don’t pay my taxes for undocumented migrants,” “I’m not in favor of building a wall, I’m in favor of every one staying in their own land,” “in this neighborhood, there is no problem with drugs because very few Muslims live here,”

Gabriel lives in one of the neighborhoods where Vox received the highest amount of votes at the April 28 general election. But it also has a different side. As Gabriel criticizes migrants, Moroccan women dressed in hijabs who are employed irregularly to work in homes for €350 a month line up silently to buy groceries for their employers.

“I have never employed a Moroccan. I have not needed to and I don’t like them,” says Gabriel, adjusting his hat.

The outcome of the May 26 election is difficult to predict, but there are two certainties: Vox will enter the local council, where more than one-third of the seats are held by Muslim politicians, and the Popular Party (PP) will lose the absolute majority it has enjoyed for 18 years.

Nearly 30,000 people cross the border that separates Morocco from Ceuta every day. “I saw that the border was going to be a problem,” admits Ceuta Mayor Juan Jesús Vivas, of the PP. “We need a secure and fluid border, and we are all to blame for this. We should have done it earlier.”

And, as a lot of countries are learning, it’s not too late.

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