The number of illegal migrants travelling to Spain by sea or forcing the borders of its North African exclaves has risen so much that it may soon overtake Greece as the second major entry point to Europe, according to the United Nations Migration Agency.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) — incorporated into the UN system in late 2016 — says the number of migrants arriving in Spain is three times higher than it was this time last year.
“We assume that some of the change is due to the fact that the route [to Spain] is considered a safe route up to the coast through Morocco,” said Joel Millman, a senior IOM spokesman.
“It’s possible that Spain will outperform Greece this year,” he added. “If so, that’s a big change.”
Source: UNICEF, via the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reports 8,385 sea arrivals in 2017 so far, compared to 11,713 in Greece — which has experienced a drop since the European Union began paying Turkey to better police its coast following an enormous intake of 885,000 people in 2015.
Hungarian security chief György Bakondi puts the total number of arrivals in Spain somewhat higher, citing a figure of 9,507 migrants in the first six months of 2017.
1,000 African Migrants Armed with Improvised Spears Storm Spanish Border https://t.co/DaJMjDEeaa
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 9, 2017
The news comes just one day after a migrant boat pulled onto a beach in Cadiz amongst shocked families and disgorged some two dozen African men, who disappeared inland before police could arrive.
Incidents like this highlight the serious potential for mass casualty terrorist attacks. Islamists are reported to be plotting a strike against tourist beaches similar to the one in Sousse, Tunisia, in 2015, which left 38 people — including 30 Britons — dead.
Southern Spain is already struggling to control shipments of arms, drugs, and illegal tobacco into Spain from Morocco in an increasingly violent trade, with police saying the gangsters are currently “winning almost all the battles”.
— IOM (@UNmigration) May 19, 2017
The IOM is not at all opposed to mass immigration, and has in fact given migrants its full support throughout the current crisis.
“With 244 million people on the move, migration is inevitable, necessary, and desirable,” the taxpayer-funded agency claims.