EU countries to begin patrols to stop migrant tide
29 May 2006
MADRID — Spain and nine other European Union countries agreed to patrol the seas off Western Africa to try to stop the tide of migrants heading towards Europe.
Antonio Camacho, Spanish secretary of state for external affairs, announced the agreement after a meeting with the European Commission and the European Borders Security Agency (FRONTEX).
Britain, Germany, Austria, Finland, France, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Luxemburg and Greece all agreed to take part in the patrols, which will start straight away.
The move comes after a plea last week by deputy prime minister María Teresa Fernández de la Vega for European Commission help in stemming the numbers of immigrants whose numbers were overwhelming resources in the Canary Islands.
The EU force is to number five patrol boats, five helicopters, a spotter plane, crews and other patrol workers.
The patrols are to cover five zones which were identified as routes used by the migrants.
The main routes include the seas off Senegal, Mauritania and Cape Verde.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news