Spanish government ministers meet today to decide how to respond to the wave of illegal immigrants arriving by boat in the Canary Islands. Almost a thousand of the boat people came ashore at the Islands which are part of Spanish territory over the weekend, including 250 who arrived yesterday.
“Central government is not fulfilling its responsibilities”, claims island politician Paulino Rivero, “We feel that Madrid has virtually abandoned us.” Teams of Red Cross workers have been mobilized to help the boat people, some of whom are suffering from burns and dehydration. The injured were taken to hospital while the rest are being housed in an army barracks. Spanish coastguards say some of the craft are barely seaworthy. It brings the total number of illegal immigrants coming ashore in the Canaries this year to five thousand.