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SPAIN: Under Franco and today

Hank Levin writes:"I will send you a precis of my experiences in Spain this year. I was there for almost two months, and my wife and daughter are still there. We spend a total of about four months a year in Spain, and our experiences in Catalyunya certainly do not reflect many of the generalizations that I have seen among the remarks of your correspondents. Part of the problem is generalizing the from the perspectives of tourists and those of residents. It is true that the problem of robbery of tourists is a prominent one in Spanish cities as it is in Paris, Rome, Florence, and other European cities. Much of this is blamed on the immigrants as it used to be blamed on the gypsies. And, those who are caught are generally from Morocco, Ecuador, and Eastern Europe, the main immigrant communities. The towns and residential communities within Catalunya have very low crime rates. In part, this is due to the fact that neighbors know each other and can identify a stranger very quickly. We know all of our neighbors including the Mayor of our town, and they know our family members and many details of our daily lives in terms of where and when we go for coffee or snacks. Clearly, when and where and how long one has been in a country are important details for making statements about that country".

Ronald Hilton - 8/3/03