AFTER police intercepted two coaches in Lerida (Cataluña), they found the passengers were all African workers from Huelva.
A closer check revealed that some 40 of the 100 Africans were not legal, said Lerida Mayor Angel Ros.
Although both coaches belonged to an operator covering scheduled routes, they were privately hired for the journey from Huelva. Ros has now asked the central government’s sub-delegation in Lerida to contact Huelva to find out who hired the coaches.
The arrival of the workers coincided with the start of Lerida’s fruit-picking season and the end of the Huelva strawberry harvest, said the national government’s delegate, Inma Manso.
Immigrant workers from Andalucia and Aragon who habitually move from one harvest to another were specifically requested not to descend on Lerida this year, she added.
There were more immigrants than ever in the city centre, Angel Ros said. This occurred not because of an increase in agricultural workers but because there was less work around, he explained.