Residents of the Spanish city of Ceuta in North Africa mobbed and jeered Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez during a visit following a massive influx of migrants from Morocco.
Sanchez, of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), arrived in the city on the North African coast across from mainland Spain on Tuesday, and was met by a crowd of locals who chanted “son of a whore!” as he passed by in his car. Several protesters kicked another car as it passed by a short time later.
Broadcaster Euronews shared footage of the incident on social media on Wednesday morning:
— euronews (@euronews) May 19, 2021
In contrast, Santiago Abascal, the leader of the Spanish populist party VOX, was met with cheers and calls of “Viva VOX!” when he visited.
“We have demanded the deployment of the army, which has been late because the Government has not risen to the occasion,” Abascal told online news outlet OK Diario.
“A country that has no borders is a country that ceases to be, just as a house without walls is no longer a home,” he said.
Some 8,000 migrants are believed to have broken into Ceuta in the last several days. Supposedly, at least 5,600 have already been sent back to Morocco, according to a report for the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia.
The Spanish Ministery of the Interior released the figures on Wednesday but, according to the newspaper, did not detail how the deportations were taking place.
PICS: Estimate of Migrants Involved In Major EU Border Breach Rises to 6,000 https://t.co/FXS8RApCyX
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 18, 2021
Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska also noted at least 1,500 migrants were claiming to be underage and are not eligible for immediate expulsion. Some will also likely have to have their ages verified to make sure they are, in fact, minors.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez stated before he visited the North African city, which has been Spanish since the 1600s, that returning order at the border with Morocco was his top priority.
Morocco has also taken action following the surge of illegal migrants, closing the El Tarajal border area. Many of the migrants had departed from its beach by water to reach the Spanish enclave.
According to La Vanguardia, Spain’s other North African enclave, Melilla, also saw a much smaller group of migrants attempt to break in illegally.
Three Hospitalised as 100 Migrants Attempt to Swim to Spanish North African Enclave https://t.co/I81yW4IVLX
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 29, 2021
Dozens of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa attempted to cross into Melilla on Tuesday at around 11:40 p.m., just 24 hours after another group twice as large had made an attempt in the same area.
The surge of migrants in Ceuta this week is the largest in recent years and comes just weeks after a hundred migrants swam to the enclave, with three having to be hospitalised for injuries due to hypothermia.