Also attending were State Secretary for Immigration Consuelo Rumi, Romanian ambassador to Spain Maria Ligor and director of Madrid-based Romanian Cultural Institute Horia Barna.
‘I invite all Madrid residents to seize the opportunity, to visit Integra, to see this coexistence, these products and services devised for the immigrants, that get us closer to the cultural wealth of those who have come to live and work by our side, to be part of our society – and particularly those from Romania, a guest country that brings a huge cultural wealth’, Lasquetty said.
‘Romania is taking part (in Integra) with much pride and emotion’, the Romanian ambassador stressed, adding that ‘we bring a broad cultural offer, with daily programmes, that mirror the life of the Romanian community living in Spain. We have organised the Romanian participation together with them because we wanted to be an example of integration – not only between Spaniards and Romanians, but inside the Romanian community too’.
Romania – the special guest of the current edition of Integra Madrid – is also the first European country to play the main role at the Fair of products and services for immigrants, partly due to the fact that Romanians form an important community in Spain, with 2008 being the year when they became the largest community there.
The Romanians are the most numerous foreigners – 162,000 – who pay contributions to the Spanish social security services; they are also the largest foreign community living in Madrid, where more than 200,000 Romanians live, being followed by Ecuadorians who number some 127,000. The Spanish-based Romanians are very young and their employment rate stands at 77.9 percent, which is above Spain’s average of just 50 percent; they are also the foreigners who have adjusted to the Spanish society best.