Sunday, July 3

The Government delegate in Ceuta: “We housewives are looking forward to the girls’ return”

The Government delegate in Ceuta has no news that points to a “next reopening” of the border with Morocco, but she is looking forward to it because she misses “the girl” who cleans in her house. “Especially the housewives, we are looking forward to the girls coming. I’m telling you starting with me, that working here in the morning and cleaning in the afternoon, the truth is that it costs”, Salvadora Mateos said at a press conference last Friday.

The socialist’s statements have outraged various sectors. The Secretary for Care and Welfare of Ceuta Ya, Suad Ahmed, has considered that “they are not only classist because of the use of a degrading term (“girls”) that we should all reject once and for all. They are also so because of their approach, for conveying the idea that the real “victims” of the border closure are not the workers themselves, but the privileged women who have been left without anyone cleaning their houses for them.” Ahmed has demanded that Mateos be “more prudent and careful, even more so in the case of a theoretically progressive person.”

The general secretary of the PP, Cuca Gamarra, has asked for “respect” for these workers and has classified Mateos’ words as “unacceptable” and “inappropriate” when they come from “a member of the Government” who “calls himself a feminist and progressive”. The Compromís spokesperson in Congress, Joan Baldoví, has called these words “a bit classist” and “at least inappropriate” and that of En Común Podem, Aina Vidal, has assured that the Government delegate “is lucky” that her position does not depend on her.

More benevolent has been the deputy spokesman for Citizens in Congress. Guillermo Díaz has affirmed that Mateos’ statements respond to the fact that “he has not had a good day” and that “it is not the most serious thing that happens in a migratory crisis” in which there are “people who drown” and members of the Corps and State Security Forces “seriously wounded”.

4,000 workers

The border between Spain and Morocco was closed two years ago, at the start of the pandemic. For Mateos, the opening should not take place until the passage of Tarajal is “safe”. For this, it has considered two conditions: the end of the reform works in progress with the installation of “intelligent” control systems for the transit of people and the implementation of regulatory modifications that correct the current system of requesting international protection by citizens of the neighboring country.

“I think that there will be Operation Crossing the Strait (OPE) this year, and that these works could be finished in time to reopen with the highest security conditions”, the delegate has advanced, who has considered the installation of facial recognition “very interesting” in the step “to really control who enters and who leaves through it,” he said. In addition, he reiterated that cross-border workers will be “the first” to be able to cross the border, both those who stayed or returned to Morocco after the closure of the border in the early hours of March 14, 2020, and those who chose to remain in the city ​​to keep their jobs despite remaining in a limbo in which their status as legal residents in Spanish territory is not recognized.

The Moroccan domestic workers who worked until two years ago in Ceuta became more than 2,000 regularized and at least as many, according to union estimates, in the underground economy.