More illegal immigrants from Africa have arrived on the Spanish coast after a lull at the weekend because of bad weather. Several dozen people reached the Canary Islands – a sign that the massive surge in migrants making the crossing over the last few weeks is far from over.
More than seven thousand arrivals have been registered in the Canaries in recent months, and deputies in this autonomous region have demanded that Madrid deploy the fleet to stop boatloads getting through. Members of the local parliament adopted a resolution which criticised what it called the central government’s “slow response” to the crisis, as well as the EU’s “lack of understanding.” Spain has launched an initiative dubbed “Plan Africa,” which aims to pressure countries to sign repatriation agreements with Madrid. Its representative in Senegal said: “Our main objective is to strengthen our presence in west Africa so as to tackle this problem effectively.” The Senegalese president says he is ready to sign an accord to take back would-be immigrants provided that Spain invests more heavily in Senegal’s economy – something that could stem the flow of migrants.