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Spain sex workers register to pay taxes

AFP-JIJI

Prostitutes on the Spanish tourist island of Ibiza have formed a sex workers’ cooperative to pay taxes and gain social security benefits — the first such group legally registered in Spain, they say.

Eleven women registered with local authorities as working members of the Sealeer Cooperative providing sexual services.

The group is applying to register 40 more women as members.

Like any workers’ cooperative, Sealeer members declare their income and pay taxes, which entitles them to public health care, a pension and other benefits.

A parliamentary report on prostitution in 2007 said Spaniards spent €50 million ($68 million) a day on prostitutes, of which it estimated there were 400,000 working in the country — the latest such figures available.

Prostitution is neither illegal nor regulated nationwide in Spain, but the government in November unveiled a new civil security bill that would fine people for picking up prostitutes near schools.