30,000 immigrants massed near Spain's borders
13 October 2005, LUXEMBOURG — Some 30,000 migrants are waiting in Algeria and Morocco to head toward the Spanish North African enclave cities of Ceuta and Melilla.
13 October 2005
LUXEMBOURG — Some 30,000 migrants are waiting in Algeria and Morocco to head toward the Spanish North African enclave cities of Ceuta and Melilla.
European security commissioner Franco Frattini said revealed the figures at the EU's Council of Justice and Interior Ministers meeting.
They are the first data released from the study conducted by the European Commission's technical mission that travelled to Morocco and the Spanish cities to gather information on the migration issue from Spanish intelligence services and other sources.
The team found that there are supposedly some 20,000 migrants in Algeria "waiting" to travel to Morocco and, thereafter, to Ceuta and Melilla, and another 10,000 who are already in Moroccan territory.
In recent weeks, at least 14 African migrants have died in a series of mass assaults on the fences around the two tiny enclaves, which lie on Morocco's northern coast.
Madrid was obliged to rush army and police reinforcements to the increasingly assailed borders.
An EC mission to the cities returned on Tuesday night to Brussels.
Its detailed report will be finished "at the beginning of next week," Frattini said at a press conference.
The European experts, who also travelled to Madrid, said that the number of people waiting to travel to the EU frontiers at the enclaves is a "clear indication of the increase in immigration pressure in Morocco and in Europe".
They also said that "there is no proof that the current high immigration pressure on the foreign borders will diminish in the short term" and, in fact, it will increase in the coming years, Frattini acknowledged in his remarks.
"Spain is doing everything it can to strengthen control of the foreign borders and is making a serious effort to provide humanitarian assistance to the injured," he said, referring to the information received by the experts.
To solve the problem, Frattini proposed a series of measures, among them improving the training of Moroccan border guards, programs to fight human trafficking, exchange of information among the various intelligence services and performing a risk analysis of migratory phenomena.
To implement measures of this type, Brussels would need between EUR 10-20 million next year, which could come from different EU programmes that still have not used all their allocated funds, such as the MEDA - for Mediterranean - programme.
The problem is that the Commission cannot act on anything farther out than 2006 since there is still no accord among the EU countries on Europe's financial outlook for 2007-2013.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news