Spain “We are facing a human tragedy” – Spain sets up camps for thousands of migrants stranded in the Canary Islands

The hoteliers initially accommodated some of the immigrants in rooms left empty of tourists but were already demanding the return of their premises.

Spanish the government promised on Friday to set up accommodation for about 7,000 migrants in the Canary Islands.

A total of more than 18,000 migrants from Africa have arrived in the Canary Islands this year, more than ten times as many as last year, according to the Spanish newspaper El País. At the same time, the number of tourists vital to the islands ’economy has plummeted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Migrants arriving in the Canary Islands by boat waited in the port of Arguineguín in Gran Canaria on Friday.­

Some of the migrants have been stranded on the quays of the port of Arguineguín in inhumane conditions as the finished accommodation ran out of power by the authorities.

“We are facing a human tragedy from which no one must turn their gaze aside,” commented the Minister of Defense Margarita Robles To the Spanish broadcaster To RTVE.

Ministry of Defense has converted an old army warehouse into a camp for 800 people. Minister of Immigration José Luis Escriván according to the army, municipalities and private companies have also promised to provide their premises temporarily for the accommodation of migrants.

Spanish Minister of Immigration José Luis Escrivá spoke during his visit to Gran Canaria on Friday.­

According to Escrivá, temporary camps will be built next month while the ministry plans a more permanent solution. The intention is to create permanent reception centers in the Canary Islands, as the government believes that the flow of migrants to the islands is not clotting, El País says.

“Obviously, we could have arrived faster and prepared better in advance, but the most important thing is to look ahead,” Escrivá said during her visit.

Canary Islands has been urging the government and the EU for several months to take action to resolve the local migration crisis.

Even before the government’s plan, local authorities have accommodated migrants in temporary facilities, but more than a thousand people are still sleeping on the pier.

Some of the immigrants have so far been accommodated in hotel rooms left empty of tourists, but earlier in November, the hoteliers demanded their premises back.

“We have shown a lot of solidarity and wanted to help humanely to avoid the tragedy we have seen elsewhere in Europe, but now we need to find other solutions,” said a spokesman for the Canary Islands Hotel Association. Tom Smulders news agency Reuters.

Canary Islands the migration situation is underpinned by a coronavirus pandemic: the closure of borders and tighter controls in Morocco, for example, have deprived many of their businesses and made it difficult for them to pass through the Strait of Gibraltar.

Under these circumstances, more and more people are choosing a dangerous sea route to the Canary Islands, which are only about a hundred kilometers off the coast of Morocco.

Read more: The number of migrants arriving in the Canary Islands has increased sevenfold since Morocco tightened its border controls

EU Border Agency According to Frontex migrants are now arriving from Morocco, Mali, the Gambia, Sierra Leone and Senegal. Many have not been able to ascertain their nationality, so in Frontex statistics they are from an “unspecified sub-Saharan state”.

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