EU Economy
Over 1,000 African migrants try to enter Spain in 2 days
By Finfacts Team
Aug 13, 2014 - 7:16 AM

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The Spanish north African coastal exclave of Melilla off north-east Morocco. Credit: Melilla Turismo

Over 1,000 African migrants from the Sub-Saharan have tried to enter Spain since Monday this week and have been picked up from boats in the Strait of Gibraltar.

The UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, says that more than 75,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Italy, Greece, Spain and Malta by sea in the first half of 2014 - - 25% more than the 60,000 who made the same journey in the whole of 2013, and over three times the 22,500 who arrived in all of 2012.

Italy received the greatest number of arrivals (63,884), followed by Greece (10,080), Spain (1,000) and Malta (227). A further 21,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Italy by July 24. The largest numbers came from Eritrea, Syria and Mali. Most left from North Africa, and principally Libya.

This included 10,563 children, 3,676 from Syria, who arrived in Italy in the first six months of 2014. 6,500 of the children, mostly Eritreans, were unaccompanied or separated from their families.

El País, the leading Spanish daily newspaper, says that the migrants were taken to a municipal sports centre in Tariff, Cadiz province.

Good weather has led to a rise in the number of people trying to reach Spain illegally across the Mediterranean in small inflatable boats.

Meanwhile, around 700 sub-Saharan migrants attempted to cross the border fence from Morocco into the Spanish north African exclave of Melilla on Tuesday morning. Around 20 were successful and made their way to the local CETI (Centre for Temporary Stay of Immigrants) chanting “Bosa, Bosa,” the victory cry often used by migrants who manage to make it onto Spanish soil.


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