Spain will set up tents and camps to accommodate 7,000 migrants in the Canary Islands

Update with a foreign statement in the last paragraph /// Madrid, Nov 20 2020 (AFP) – The Spanish government announced this Friday that it will set up emergency temporary tents and camps to accommodate up to 7,000 people in the Canary Islands, within a plan to contain the intense migratory flow in this archipelago close to Africa. The measures also include the reinforcement of maritime rescue teams in the region and are complemented by the diplomatic offensive launched from Madrid in several African countries to prevent the departure of precarious vessels towards these islands Atlánticas.In a visit to the archipelago, whose regional authorities denounce the saturation of the reception system, the Minister of Inclusion, José Luis Escrivá, announced the creation in weeks of “tents and emergency camps that will allow us to cover 7,000 places.” These devices are a temporary solution while the government adapts other facilities and buildings, most of them ceded by the army, to accommodate “more stable” newcomers to the islands. These new places should allow the transfer of the 5,500 migrants currently housed in hotels, unusually empty of tourists due to the pandemic, as well as more than a thousand who They are still located in the port of Arguineguín, a focus of criticism from oenegés for its saturation and precarious conditions. The plan will be financed with 84 million euros (99.7 million dollars) of European funds, the minister said. with Turkey, Libya and Morocco to curb immigration through the Mediterranean, they shifted the pressure to this archipelago, which has received some 12,000 people since September and more than 18,000 since the beginning of the year, more than ten times than in the same period of 2019. it overwhelmed the Spanish government, criticized for having improvised in the face of this crisis. “It is clear that we could have arrived earlier, we could have had more capacity for anticipation,” acknowledged Minister Escrivá. Regional President Ángel Victor Torres, who accompanied the minister at the press conference, demanded the transfer of migrants to other Spanish regions to Decongest the Canarian reception systems. “The Canary Islands flatly refuse to be the one to host 100% of the immigration that comes to our land,” said Torres. – Stop departures at origin – The government, however, prioritizes negotiating with countries of origin to stop departures and reactivate repatriations interrupted by the pandemic. “Migration policy is a comprehensive policy, they are not shortcuts”, “and what is important it is the external sphere, “that is to say, fighting against migrant mafias, cooperating with countries of origin and” protecting the vulnerable, “Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said this Friday in Rabat, after meeting with his Moroccan counterpart. .Madrid will proceed to “return” the migrants “who are irregular and are not creditors of international protection,” said Marlaska during his visit to Morocco, where a large part of the immigrants who arrive in the Canary Islands come from. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González, who will travel to Senegal on Sunday, met this Friday in Geneva with representatives of the International Organization for Migration and the High Commissioner for Migration. Refugees (UNHCR). González asked IOM for their “collaboration” to implement the plan announced this Friday to host migrants in the Canary Islands, according to a statement from his ministry. dbh-du / eg

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