By Tony Winterburn • 16 November 2020 • 10:58
Canary Islands Immigrant Crisis Puts the Spanish Government on Alert over Lack of Control.
The lack of control of the migration crisis in the Canary Islands puts the Government on alert. The arrival of more than 16,000 migrants to the Canary Islands has overwhelmed the administration and forced the central government to place this migratory crisis among its priorities for action.
The constant disembarkation of boats has shown the inability to receive, attend and adequately handle the arrivals. Peaks such as that of last weekend, with more than 2,000 migrants arriving on the islands, forced La Moncloa to undertake shock measures, among them, multiplying diplomatic efforts to increase returns and an attempt to curb the departure of boats at the origin.
The five ministries involved, Migration, Interior, Foreign, Defense and Territorial Policy, are right now focused on the Canarian crisis. Faced with friction between departments, the first vice president, Carmen Calvo, has assumed control of the measures with which the Government intends to control the migration situation that has not been dealt with for more than a decade.
According to the International Organisation for Migration, more than 11,000 people have arrived in the Canaries by sea so far this year, half of them in October alone, while 414 are feared to have died in the attempt. Last year, 2,557 migrants arrived in the archipelago, up from 1,307 in 2018. This year’s figures, however, are well down on 2006, when 32,000 people arrived in the Canaries by sea.
Spain’s interior minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, and the EU’s commissioner for home affairs, Ylva Johansson, visited the islands last week. At a press conference on Friday, Johansson paid tribute to the “tremendous efforts” of the central and regional governments in managing the situation in such difficult times.
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