Spain could overtake Greece in Migrants in flow

Spain could overtake Greece in Migrants in flow

Spain could overtake Greece in Migrants in flow

Over 100,000 migrants reached Europe from North Africa and the Middle East in the first half of 2017, according to data published by the International Organization of Migration.

On the same day, 12 migrants arrived in waters off the Spanish territory of Ceuta in northern Morocco on jet-skis, with one - a 28-year-old man from Guinea - drowning before he could be rescued, authorities said.

"It's possible that Spain will outperform Greece this year", he added.

Ceuta and Melilla are today the main entry points to Spain for illegal migrants, 90% of whom are men, mainly from sub-Sahara.

Some 11,849 people have arrived in Spain so far this year, compared to 13,246 in all of last year, the IOM says.

"If so, that's a big change". Overall, the numbers of migrants crossing the Mediterranean have dropped dramatically this year, mostly because of the rapid decline in the number arriving in places like Greece and Cyprus.

He also said they were using smaller crafts to cross the short but choppy sea to Spain in the hope of slipping in undetected.

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In Libya there 'appears to be a very deliberate strategy to put people out there, in overloaded boats that begin to take on water nearly immediately and then it's a race to see how quickly the people on the boat can summon aid, ' he said.

The migrants were eventually rounded up and taken to a reception centre, where they can apply for asylum in Spain.

More than 1,600 people have been rescued off the coast of Cádiz since January.

Islamists are reported to be plotting a strike against tourist beaches similar to the one in Sousse, Tunisia, in 2015, which left 38 people - including 30 Britons - dead. "And others are fine and recover quickly", he said.

The migrants were blocked by Moroccan police before they reached the double fence at the border.

Spain and Morocco agreed yesterday to close the Tarajal post to freight traffic for a week because of recent migrant crossing attempts.

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