Spain: Highest immigration intake in the EU during 2007

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immigration in 2008, according to Spanish Labour Minister Jesus Caldera.

According to El Pais, a major Spanish news outlet, a total of 702,000 immigrants came to Spain during 2007 -- largest intake of immigrants out of all European Union countries during that year.

According to a European Commission report, an average of 600,000 immigrants came to Spain annually in the last five years, peaking in 2007. Following behind Spain was Italy with 494,000 immigrants in 2007, and Germany, with 175,000.

Immigration to Spain has increased by a factor of five since 1999. However, birth rates in Spain are declining. It's expected that increased immigration will help deal with the problems caused by an aging population.

Immigration is playing an important role in promoting economic development in Spain, with more and more migrants coming to the country and starting businesses.

In addition, immigration to Spain may become easier in the future for some foreign workers if Spain signs on to the proposed European Union Blue Card, a single work and residence permit for skilled workers aimed at making the 27-member bloc more globally competitive.