In a meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Wednesday, President Rafael Correa asked that Spain eliminate the visa requirement for Ecuadorian visitors.
After the meeting, Correa that he told Rojoy that he objected to the fact that Spain and the Euroeapn Union (EU) have a bilateral agreement with Peru and Colombia that allows citizens of those countries to enter Spain using only their passports. That was agreement was based, in part, on trade agreements that Ecuador does not have with the EU.
“We respect the right of Colombian and Peruvian citizens to enter Spain without a visa. We are simply asking for equal treatment,” Correa said. “Ecuador has an open door policy for all foreigners to enter our country without a visa, including Spanish visitors,” he added.
He also pointed out that average wages for Ecuadorians are higher than those for Peruvians and Colombians. “Based on financial factors, our citizens are less likely to be risks of illegal immigration.”
During his visit with Rojoy, Correa also discussed the problem of Ecuadorian immigrants in Spain who lost their homes during the housing crisis. Thousands of former Ecuadorian homeowners were kicked out of their homes during the 2008 – 2009 financial crisis and its aftermath when they were unable to pay mortgages.
In other business in Spain, Correa signed an agreement to share faculty with Spanish universities and was awarded an honorary doctorate at the University of Barcelona.
Photo caption: President Rafael Correa and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Wednesday in Madrid.