While the tourist are laying on the beautiful beaches of the Costa del Sol, the European journalists are showing us a totally different image of it. Just a few kilometres behind the beautiful beaches and tourists resort, you will find a world of plastic.
On the picture above you can see how the plastic greenhouses, even visible from space, fill the landscape of in this case Campo Dalias. These greenhouses supply vegetables to mainly Great Brittan, Germany and The Netherlands. Now all these greenhouses could have a negative effect on the climate or be disastrous for the cultural heritage but that is not the most repulsive fact of this all.
In the greenhouses work illegal immigrants from mainly Africa. Due to the fact they are illegal, they don’t have any rights at all and the Spanish farmer are abusing that fact. The immigrants are living in inhuman conditions and are underpaid, besides all of that they don’t have any rights at all to change it.
Many of the immigrants came to Europe for a better future but ended up worse than in their homeland. Many of them work for just a couple Euros a day, if they find any work at all.
The huge number of immigrants live between the plastic greenhouses, in sheds made of pieces of wood and plastic, sleeping in a bed shared by five immigrants.
For many people the question, why nothing get done to change it, must rise now. There are rules by the Spanish government which forbid to use illegal immigrants as workers in the greenhouses, the fines can go up to thousands of euros but somehow the farmers still use a huge number of illegal workers in their greenhouses, so we can conclude that the rule doesn’t seem to have any effect at all .
According to farmers they can’t pay those fines and therefore they don’t use illegal workers but the proof given by various media tell otherwise. And if the media shows us that the situation in the greenhouses and surroundings are critical, why doesn’t the Spanish police does. Maybe the Spanish police tolerates the situation in order to protect the farmers and eventually the Spanish economy, which is already extremely damaged by the economical crisis and can’t have any other failures in the markets.
But not only the farmers tolerates the problem, also their clients, mainly supermarkets, tolerate it in order to keep low prices. But by doing that they deceive their clients. An example is the Supermarket Lidle, a German supermarket located in whole Europe, which tells on their site that it wants to improve fair trade and support manufacturers in improving their working and living conditions.
But how is it possible that they buy from suppliers who abuse illegal immigrants en let them live in inhuman conditions? Some informants claim it’s a consequence of the Western consumers, who want good products for little money but ignore the fact that good products, where there are good conditions for the workers, cost a lot of money, which in the end needs to be paid by the consumers is impossible.
So should we just accept the fact that if we don’t want to pay much money for our product, that illegal immigrants are used as modern slaves. Is it really our fault or are the supermarkets hunting huge profits to blame. Blaming the consumer could just be another strategy to clean their own image. One supermarket chain in The Netherlands alone had in 2009 a profit of 27.9 billion euro, so whether the consumer is the one who isn’t paying enough seems like a joke.
It’s time for the European parliament to step up and say it’s enough with exploiting illegal immigrants. They need to not only punish the farmers but also the companies who but their products and offer a lower price then acceptable. The supermarkets chains make billions of profit, while only a couple thousand kilometers away people are living in inhuman condition and are abused day after day. It’s a shame that everybody is accepting the ridiculous behavior currently happening in the European Union.
Watch the report The Guardian made on this topic here