Morocco must be endowed with sufficient resources to deal with illegal immigration, insisted the acting president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sanchez, during a joint press conference, Thursday in Madrid, with visiting elected president of the European Council, Charles Michel.
Thanks to co-operation between Morocco and Spain, arrivals of illegal migrants on the Spanish coast have been reduced by more than 50% in 2019, said the head of the Spanish executive.
The Spanish Ministry of the Interior has recently reported a reduction of more than 53% in the number of illegal migrants arriving by sea in Spain between January 1 and October 30 compared to the same period last year.
A total of 22,247 migrants illegally arrived in Spanish coasts aboard makeshift boats by October 30, against 47,684 migrants during the same period of 2018, a decline of 53.3%, said the interior ministry in a report on “irregular immigration January-October 2019”.
During the same period, 1,030 boats arrived on the Spanish coast, against 1,775 boats between January 1 and October 30, 2018, a 42% decrease.
Last week, Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande Marlaska described Morocco’s contribution to easing the pressure of irregular migration as “real” cooperation.
In August, Spain approved a €32 million grant to back Morocco’s border control initiatives. The fund is in addition to the €140 million that the EU pledged as part of a program to support Morocco’s efforts to control the flow of undocumented migrants.