The Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, has visited one the country´s reception centres for Ukrainian refugees in Barcelona, where he vowed that Spain would provide “all the protection and opportunities possible’ for the estimated total of 110,000 Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in the country since the Russian invasion on 24th February.
He said that Spain is “setting an example of collaboration, cooperation and institutional coordination.”
Spain has established four “Reception, Care and Referral Centres”, in Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante and Málaga.
In addition, Spain’s ‘National War Response Plan’ has set aside a budget of 1.2 billion Euros being financed by the EU Refugee Coordination plan.
As of yesterday, Monday 11th April some 48,979 displaced persons from Ukraine have now been assisted and almost 52,000 requests for temporary protection have been granted.
Nearly 40% of the total are minors of whom more than 13,000 have been enrolled in state schools.
The Prime Minister went on to condemn the Russian attack saying that Ukraine will continue to resist the invasion and that “what is happening … is a challenge to all European citizens…. because Putin is attacking Europe, trying to weaken the European project, which is based on human rights, democracy, freedom and peace.”
The EU response to the more than 4 million refugees who have fled the country allows them the right to work, residency, emergency accommodation, State financial benefits as well as a range of assistance for subsistence, food, legal, employment, health care and education.
The government´s War Response Committee met yeesterday to discuss the effect of sanctions on Russia, following the EU’s approval of a fifth package of measures that came into force last week.
This package includes, among other measures, a ban on the import of Russian coal, a total ban on the movement of Russian and Belarusian road hauliers operating in the EU, and a ban on Russian-flagged vessels entering European ports.