Only a year ago, most African “refugees” came to Italy from Libya. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini in cooperation with the Libyan authorities and the Libyan coastguard took action to curb this procedure, and so Italy ceased to be the main migration route. Now Spain has become a new window for African immigrants wanting to get to Europe.
The number of immigrants reaching the Old Continent through the Iberian Peninsula is growing with every year. From the beginning of January to August 5, a total of over 59 thousand traveled to Europe by sea, of whom fewer than 19,000 went to Italy, over 16,000 to Greece, and almost 24,000 to Spain,1) which is more than 40% of all the so-called refugees arriving in the Old Continent.
- Spain’s leftist government of Pedro Sanchez (see featured image) has a completely different approach to immigration than its Italian counterpart headed by Giuseppe Conte. While the Italians are closing ports to non-governmental vessels transporting Africans3)and assure to return the undocumented immigrants to their countries of origin,4) Sanchez announced an open door policy in June.5) The Spanish government also pledged to remove the barbed wire fence in Ceuta and Melilla, the Spanish enclaves on the African side of the Strait of Gibraltar,6)and promised newcomers free health care.7)
- When the Italian government began to take increasingly determined actions to block the influx of people from Africa, George Soros, who supported and financed the flooding of Europe with re-settlers, met the Spanish prime minister at the end of June.8) The billionaire, who financed the independence activities of Catalonia,9) proposed withdrawal of support for separatist sentiments in Barcelona in exchange for Madrid’s acceptance of African immigrants.
- When Germany and France became stretched to the limit coping with the wave of “refugees”, the government of Pedro Sanchez decided to open the country’s door to them, turning Spain into the European leader of migration policy. Soon after having been sworn into office, the new prime minister said that the EU should perceive migration as a problem of all member states10) and consequently, he said, the evasion of solidarity in this respect should be met with putting pressure on uncooperative governments through to their marginalization.11) The fact that Brussels pays for accepting Africans arouses a suspicion that by letting them in, Madrid is looking for financial means to balance the state budget.12)13)
- Spain’s fertility rate is extremely low and amounts to 1.32.14) The new government – including Minister of Foreign Affairs Josep Borrel – claims that “new blood” is needed15) so that Europe “does not turn into an aging continent”16) but can grow economically. The same scenario, to which the Gefira Foundation has already alerted the readers, is to be implemented in other countries.17)18) Such an action, however, brings about an effect opposite to the desired one, which can be seen after the incidents in France, about which we wrote in June.19)
- The distance from Morocco and Algeria to the southern coast of Spain is definitely smaller than that from Libya to Italy. This allows international organizations to easily and quickly ferry immigrants, and even encourages the latter to take the sea crossing on their own, as shown in a film from the end of July this year with shots of newcomers landing on the beach in Zahora, Andalusia. The distance between the Moroccan coast and the Spanish resort is less than 50 km.
ER recommends other articles by Gefira
|1.||↑||Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 59,271 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,504, International Organization for Migration 2018-08-08.|
|2.||↑||Alarma por los más de 50.000 subsaharianos que esperan en Marruecos para cruzar a España, El Mundo 2018-07-27.|
|3.||↑||Salvini to demand closure of Italian ports to ‘international mission’ migrant ships, The Local 2018-07-08.|
|4.||↑||Italy vows to ‘send home’ undocumented immigrants, The Guardian 2018-06-01.|
|5.||↑||Spanish leader Pedro Sánchez hailed for opening doors to refugees, The Times 2018-06-13.|
|6.||↑||Ceuta and Melilla: why does Spain own two cities in Africa?, The Week 2018-06-15.|
|7.||↑||Aquarius in Valencia: Spain welcomes migrants from disputed ship, BBC 2018-06-17.|
|8.||↑||Sánchez prioriza en su agenda las cesiones a ETA y al separatismo catalán, La Gaceta 2018-06-29.|
|9.||↑||George Soros is funding the independence of Catalonia, Voltairenet 2017-09-28.|
|10.||↑||Unilateralism not the answer to migrant crisis, says Spain’s PM, The Guardian 2018-06-28.|
|11.||↑||Macron backs sanctions on EU states that refuse migrants, France24 2018-06-24.|
|12.||↑||EU to support Morocco, Spain on migration, but funds limited, Defenceweb 2018-08-02.|
|13.||↑||EU ready to shore up Morocco migrant funding, Euobserver 2018-08-02.|
|14.||↑||Fertility rate, total (births per woman), The World Bank|
|15.||↑||Spain denies ‘mass’ migration, says Europe needs ‘new blood’, France24 2018-07-31.|
|16.||↑||Spain’s foreign minister scorns mass immigration claim, The Guardian 2018-07-30.|
|17.||↑||Sweden will remain Sweden but just in name, Gefira 2018-07-27.|
|18.||↑||The incredibly shrinking Italian population: By 2080, Italians will be a minority in their own country, Gefira 2018-01-18.|
|19.||↑||High suicide rate under the French police as the state is under permanent attack, Gefira 2018-06-20.|
|20.||↑||Aquarius migrants arrive in Spain after rough week at sea, The Guardian 2018-06-17.|
|21.||↑||Migrant rescue ship docks in Spain again after Italy refusal, The Local 2018-08-09.|
|22.||↑||Más de 600 inmigrantes entran en Ceuta tras saltar la valla: 22 guardias civiles heridos, varios por cal viva, El Mundo 2018-07-26.|
|23.||↑||Over 1,200 migrants rescued off Spanish coast in two days, The Local 2018-07-29.|
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