In 2018, the number of illegal arrivals in Spain, most of which were done by Moroccans, doubled to 57,000, according to Frontex. It has been claimed that the North African country may have gone soft on its migration controls to Europe in ket negotiations with Brussels.
The kingdom lost a reported 293 migrants in the first six months of 2018. Spain, the busiest route into the European Union for migrants, has decided to intervene using millions upon millions of dollars.
Last week, the Spanish Minister’s Council nodded the grant of €30 Mn (USD 33.35 Mn) to help Morocco in its efforts to curb illegal immigrants from its geography to the southern Spanish shores.
According to a Spanish government spokesperson, Isabel Celaa, who announced the development at a press conference, the reinforced relations between both countries have contributed to a 27 percent drop this year in irregular migration.
The financial assistance aims to support international police cooperation and comes from the budget of the Spanish Home Affairs Ministry. With the fund, Moroccan authorities will be able to combat irregular immigration, migrant smuggling and human trafficking.
In the press release, the Spanish government iterated that illegal migration and human trafficking is a burden that must be shouldered by the countries of origin, transit and destination.
This is not the first of Spain’s millions in the issues, as it granted €26 Mn (nearly USD 29 Mn) in July 2018. The funds were considered in order to support Morocco in its efforts to strengthen the control of its borders and contain paperless migration.
Per reports, the money did not go down the drain, as Morocco was able to curb illegal migration flows to Spain by 70 percent in spite of the crackdown elsewhere in the Mediterranean – which pushed many immigrants to the Western Mediterranean route.
Just last week, almost 200 Sub-Saharan Africans tried to force their way through the Melilla border post, scaling the Morocco-Spain fence just to enter Europe. The Arab nation’s borders with the Spanish territories of Ceuta and Melilla are points of concern as far as illegal migration is concerned.
The recent incidence at the border inspired action from the Spanish and Morrocan border forces, who, immediately deployed a Guardia Civil chopper to curb the threat.
According to Spanish news source EI Espanol, up to 50 immigrants still successfully crossed over to where the pastures are seemingly greener and headed for the temporary migration facility (CETI), a safe haven from where deportation is actually impossible.
These migrants are from a country that has foiled over 40,300 irregular attempts since January 2019, according to Khalid Zerouali, director of immigration and border surveillance at the Moroccan Ministry of the Interior.
Featured Image: Euronews