Crisis talks after 700 migrants arrive in Canarys

11th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

11 September 2006, SANTA CRUZ — An emergency meeting between Madrid and regional governments was underway on Monday after more than 700 illegal immigrants arrived in the Canary Islands last weekend.

11 September 2006

SANTA CRUZ — An emergency meeting between Madrid and regional governments was underway on Monday after more than 700 illegal immigrants arrived in the Canary Islands last weekend.

The central and regional authorities throughout Spain will try to determine how to deal with the crisis.

The latest group to arrive consisted of 181 migrants who reached the island of Tenerife on Sunday on two vessels escorted by the coast guard.

Four ships carrying 334 sub-Saharan African migrants arrived in the Canaries on Sunday, and at least 20 North African migrants who arrived in Gran Canaria aboard three ships were also detained.

The four vessels that arrived in Tenerife on Saturday carried a total of 224 people.

More than 22,000 illegal immigrants bound for the Canary Islands from Africa have been intercepted so far this year, with 4,772 arriving in August alone.

The Canary Islands have become a favored destination for African emigrants seeking to make it to Europe to look for work.

Illegal immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa have increasingly opted for the sea route to the Canary Islands since Madrid tightened security last year around Ceuta and Melilla, two Spanish enclaves in North Africa, that were being used as a bridge into Europe.

To make the trip, illegal immigrants crowd into small boats that take to the sea - almost always at night - and not infrequently sink due to the excess weight on board.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news



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