Canarys immigrant camps ‘saturated’, admits minister
19 September 2006
SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE — Holding centres for immigrants in the Canary Islands are ‘saturated’ admitted the government on Tuesday.
But Antonio Camacho, secretary of state for security, said the camps on the islands were not at the point of ‘collapse’.
Camacho made his comments during a visit to the Frontex agency centre on Tenerife.
Frontex, the EU border controls agency, has been charged with helping Spain cope with the huge influx of illegal immigrants from Western Africa.
Over 22,000 have arrived in tiny kayaks since the start of the this year, swamping holding centres.
Camacho defended the management of the holding centres, saying many non-governmental organisations which had inspected them said they were run ‘efficiently’.
The Spanish daily El Mundo published photographs on Tuesday showing migrants crammed into the Hoya Fria camp in Tenerife.
Though the centre is only supposed to hold 326 people, there are said to be 1,500 people staying there in cramped conditions.
The Spanish Confederation of Police (CEP) said there were only six police and two other security guards to watch the migrants.
So far there have not been any security problems.
But Rodrigo Gavilan, of the CEP, claimed many health problems like syphilis, gonorrhoea, tuberculosis or malaria were not being treated properly.
He added this put police officers at risk.
The newspaper claimed some centres on the islands were holding more than 8,000 migrants.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news