The story of a Sony Executive from Morocco detained at the Malaga airport by overzealous Spanish National Police, who refused to let her into the country, even when she had been coming to Spain regularly, for business and pleasure (Madrid, Barcelona etc.), shows us that it is not enough to just a have a valid visa, as you will also have to bring with you €577,26 at the very least, a return ticket, and proof of having secured accommodation (other than under a bridge).
Unfortunately for (lets call her) Zineb, she was never told when being granted her 10th visa by the Spanish Immigration Desk at the Consulate in Casablanca of what the border control police expected her to bring when arriving in Spain and, by application of the existing laws, was about to end up being sent back to Casablanca on a next-day early flight.
The Policia Nacional are known for their kind use of legal words: they arrested her but meant to have simply “detained” her, and further communicated that she was being “refused entry”, when a proper deportation was imminent (so then, summary execution, in their euphemistic use of words, would presumably be translated as to be “put out of order” or to “disrupt the existence” of someone).
The laws applied were not being incorrectly quoted but perhaps too harshly applied. I cite the provisions:
Foreigners entering Spain will have to show, if requested to do so, that they have sufficient financial resources equivalent to a minimum amounts, as stated below:
- For their maintenance, when staying in Spain, the minimum amount to show, as approved for year 2011, will be of 64,14 Euros per person and day, with a minimum of 577,26 Euros.
- A valid return ticket to their country of origin or a third country.
Proof of funds will be made by showing cash or credit cards, in the latter case having also to show bank certificate of proof of balance. Accommodation will also have to be proved, upon request of the border control officials, by either showing an “invitation letter” by a private individual, a hotel booking or a rental contract.
Zineb was short of €377 as she only had €200 in her pocket. Also, she had no proof of accommodation, other than the undertaking from her Bentley-driving boyfriend that he would lodge her in his Marbella home to celebrate St. Valentine (nice of him), who was anxiously waiting outside the “sterile area”, where she was held to avoid “external contamination”, which I found out to be her boyfriend or myself slipping a €500 note in her back pocket.
After using every trick on the lawyers book, i.e. starting off with an angry lawyer’s call invoking police abuse of discretionary powers and arbitrary arrest, to then apologizing for a rather disrespectful first-call approach (ego-restoring exercise), as well as throwing in the timely Valentine´s day to generate pity and affection, and calculated doses of weeping by Zineb, we managed to persuade them to find a crack in the law to pull her in, it being that she complied with just over 50% of the above requirements, whichever way this was calculated!