There are, however, reports of widespread hostility to Gypsies, which manifests itself in the negative portrayals in the media, as well as harassment, evictions, and occasional attacks by mobs. To counteract such hostility and to improve the socio-economic circumstances of Gypsies there are numerous Gypsy associations and support groups involved in education, training, job creation, and advocacy.
A more overt form of racism in Spain is evident in the treatment of immigrants. In June 1996 the newly elected conservative government supervised the deportation of over one hundred illegal immigrants from Melilla to various African countries. The deportees were forcibly drugged beforehand. The Partido Popular – hard –line policy on immigration particularly evident in the Spanish Territories of Centa and Melilla. Spain, along with Italy, is seen as the guardian of Fortress Europe – policing the border to prevent migrants from Africa from entering. In 1995 a protest by a group of African immigrants was brutally broken up by local mobs assisted by the police. The incident was described as “the most horrendous outbreak of nakedly racist violence in recent Spanish memory” (Mathew Cann, “Policing the Frontier: Centa and Melilla” in Fekete, 1997).