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Spain : Country could top Greece in migrant sea arrivals - IOM

13 August 2017

The shift may be because migrants are finding the Spanish route safer.

Spanish coastguards said they had rescued 10 men from sub-Saharan Africa in a rickety boat off Tarifa in southern Spain.

The British tabloid noted that Spain is not alone, with "more than 96,400 have landed so far this year" in Italy, and another 11,713 in Greece.

"Some people arrive with little strength left, sometimes they got lost, lost the engine, don't have anything to eat or drink in the boat, some have sunburns or burns from the petrol".

"It's possible that Spain will outperform Greece this year", according to Millman.

Spain could overtake Greece this year in the number of migrants arriving by sea, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Thursday, coming shore on boats and even jet-skis. The migrants in Spain most often have no identification and are usually young males from Morocco, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast and a handful of other West African countries, according to quotes by police.

The Spanish Red Cross, whose workers are among the first to tend to migrants when they arrive, says it has treated double the number of sea-arriving migrants in southern Spain during the first since six months of 2017 compared to a year earlier.

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He added that the boats crossing the choppy sea to Spain were much smaller than those launching from Libya to Italy.

Disembarkations by migrants on Spanish beaches are not common but have happened before, especially at Spain's north African enclave cities Melilla and Ceuta, which border Morocco. The passengers, mostly from Morocco and neighboring Algeria, were looking for a better life in Europe and using Spain as a doorway.

A first attempt by about 1,000 people to cross with sticks and hand-made spears was foiled by police from the two countries.

At about 5am on Monday, 186 migrants stormed the border and reached European Union soil.

The week-long agreement with the Moroccan authorities involves closing the border crossing "Tarajal".

Once there, they celebrated, raising their hands in joy as they ran through the streets - with one man kneeling on the floor.

Spain : Country could top Greece in migrant sea arrivals - IOM