SPANISH BEACHES UNDER SIEGE
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Swarms of locust-like Africans were filmed storming a beach in southern Spain on Friday as sunbathers watched the remarkable scenes unfolding. The dramatic clip, taken on the beach at Tarifa, showed one group of more than 30 migrants landing in a dinghy before sprinting off into woodland surrounding the beach to evade the pursuing Spanish border guards.
The news comes as the mayor of the nearby Spanish port of Algeciras warned that his town is at the centre of a ‘new migrant crisis’ after 1,000 arrivals flooded his town in the last week alone. Slamming the EU for its lack of action José Ignacio Landaluce warned his town risked becoming ‘the new Lampedusa’, an Italian island which has been overrun with migrants.
Spain, now under a left-wing PSOE regime, has now overtaken Italy as the preferred destination for migrant arrivals in Europe this year after Italy’s new hard-line interior minister Matteo Salvini introduced a blanket ban on migrant boats entering the country’s ports. Around 1,600 migrants reached Spanish shores this week alone, with the majority of the new arrivals funnelling through Algeciras.
“It may be our problem initially, but tomorrow, or in a week’s time, or a month’s, it’ll be at the heart of Europe,” Landaluce said.
“We’ve never, ever, ever had 1,000 migrants arriving in Spain each weekend. And all this could just be for starters. There’s a lot of the summer left and there are thousands and thousands of migrants arriving on the coasts of North Africa and thousands and thousands more who have been waiting to cross for months or years.”
The town of 120,000 has been unable to house all the migrants arriving this week, with some forced to sleep on rescue boats and in police cells.
Sub-Saharan Africans living illegally in Morocco try to get to Europe each year by climbing rows of 6m-high (20-foot-high) barbed-wire fences surrounding Ceuta and Melilla, Spain’s other North African enclave. This week’s mass charge added to pressure on Spanish authorities from a recent wave of migration. The invading horde scrambling over the barrier is the biggest in Ceuta since February 2017, when more than 850 migrants entered the overseas territory over four days.
It comes as Spain becomes the number one destination for migrants crossing the Mediterranean by boat, surpassing Italy with 19,586 arrivals by sea to date. The International Organization for Migration says so far this year that more than 22,700 migrants have arrived in Spain – three times more than in the same period last year. Ceuta and Melilla, on Morocco’s northern border, have the EU’s only land borders with Africa, which is why many migrants try to reach them.
A Tunisian ship carrying 40 migrants has been refused entry by four European countries, leaving those on board stranded for two weeks so far. The Sarost 5 is currently floating three kilometres from Zarzis on the Tunisian coast after failed attempts to make port in Malta, France, Italy, and Tunisia.
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