EU to offer more help to stem migrant tide to Canarys
30 August 2006, BRUSSELS — The European Union told Spain on Wednesday it would ask other members to deploy more resources to stop illegal immigrants arriving in the Canary Islands.
30 August 2006
BRUSSELS — The European Union told Spain on Wednesday it would ask other members to deploy more resources to stop illegal immigrants arriving in the Canary Islands.
"We are going to make a call for solidarity from the member states" because we need to "bolster the operating capability of Frontex much more," European security, freedom and justice commissioner Franco Frattini said, referring to the European border control agency.
Frattini spoke after meeting with Spanish deputy prime minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega to discuss the wave of illegal immigration that has brought more than 18,000 migrants to the the Canary Islands.
Only four of the 25 members of the European Union are currently taking part in the Frontex deployment in the Atlantic.
Frattini said he planned to ask for additional EU resources to combat illegal immigration and the extension of the current mission until the end of the year.
"We need more resources because we have very few," Fernandez de la Vega said, adding that "more ships, more planes, more personnel, more crews" were needed to stem the flow of migrants.
"We are aware of Spain's dramatic needs," Frattini said, agreeing with Fernandez de la Vega that the wave of illegal immigrants was "a European problem" since it also affected other EU members, such as Italy, Greece and Malta.
"From now until December, we are going to bolster the capabilities of Frontex," the European official said.
Spanish authorities said earlier this week that 4,772 illegal immigrants have arrived in the Canary Islands so far this month, surpassing the 4,751 who reached the Spanish territory during all of 2005.
The latest arrivals brought to 18,858 the number of illegal African immigrants detained this year while trying to enter the European Union via the Canary Islands.
The Canary Islands have become a favoured destination for African emigrants seeking to make it to Europe to look for work.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news