Spain Wants To Build Emergency Camps For 7,000 migrants
The Spanish government intends to fight the "human trafficking mafia" "with zero tolerance" and in cooperation with countries like Senegal. Madrid asked Geneva for support of its strategy.
Despite the pandemic the illegal immigration from Africa to Europe has increased in the last three months. Spain is the country targeted by the traffickers who continue to smuggle people landing on the Canary Islands. So far this year more than 18,000 people from Africa have arrived in the Canary Islands that is 1000 per cent more than in the previous years.
Madrid is trying to resolve the crisis wants to set up temporary reception centers for a total of 7,000 people. These camps would be available in a few weeks, informed Migration Minister José Luis Escrivá during a visit to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The emergency camps are to be built on the islands of Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Fuerteventura on land or in buildings belonging to the Ministry of Defense.
According to Escrivá, "more stable centers" are also to be created for 7,000 more people. Transport Minister José Luis Ábalos has also pledged more funds for the sea rescue service and to support the European border protection agency Frontex.
About 65 percent of the migrant women arrive in Gran Canaria. There are currently 1,300 people in the Red Cross initial reception center in Arguineguín in the south of the island, although the camp is only designed for 500 people.
Nearly 5,500 refugees have been temporarily accommodated in 17 hotels.
According to the regional government, emergency services and police are completely overwhelmed, the central government is letting the Canary Islands down, is the allegation.
The Spanish government has refused to bring the people to the mainland. One does not want to convey the message that the Canaries served as a stepping stone to Europe, it said.
The newspaper El Mundo reported, citing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that all people arriving in the Canary Islands should be returned.
According to Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska, migration policy is determined by the EU, not Spain alone. It is about fighting illegal migration. According to media reports, Mr. Grande-Marlaska has already advised his Moroccan counterpart Mr. Abdelouafi Laftit about faster deportations. Most of the migrants arriving on the Canary Islands, which are around 110 kilometers away, had started by sea from Morocco.
"Zero tolerance" against human trafficking
Spain wants to manage the migration crisis in a humane, responsible and solidary manner, said Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya after a meeting with the Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), António Vitorino, and the head of the UN Refugee Agency Mr. Filippo Grandi. The Spanish government wants to fight the "human trafficking mafia" "with zero tolerance" and in cooperation with countries like Senegal. Therefore, the migrants who are illegally in the Canary Islands will be returned. Madrid asked for support in Geneva.
In Senegal, Ms Laya has already pushed for the re-enforcement of the agreement on the return of illegal migrants from the West African country. The repatriation agreements between Spain and various West African countries have been suspended due to the Corona crisis. Most of the refugees come from Morocco, Senegal, Mali and Mauritania.