Sunday, October 09, 2005


Over recent days, groups of hundreds of Africans keen to get into Europe have stormed the razor wire fences separating Spain's African enclaves – Ceuta and Melilla – from Morocco. The situation has taken a violent turn with a number of illegals shot to death over recent weeks.

It's hard not to be sympathetic to those wanting to escape to a better life but BBC correspondent Chris Morris goes too far in reporting:
But, let's face it, this is the latter-day invasion we've brought upon ourselves. In a world of instant communications and global images we can't hide our affluence from anyone. The news has reached the smallest African village... and who can blame them if they start heading in our direction?
To his credit, Morris does note that the already diverse cultural mix of the tiny Spanish enclaves would be quickly unbalanced by even a small flood of sub-Saharan Africans. Morris fails to note, however, the main reason why Spanish officials have become so keen to keep the illegals out:
Until now, migrants who successfully entered the enclaves have been housed in holding centres or sent to mainland Spain to await expulsion to their country of origin, often resulting in their release.
In other words, those who made it into the enclaves were eventually released because Spain has no repatriation agreements with the countries of origin. So, Spain has taken to handing the illegals back to Morocco, which has a very simply solution to unwanted people hanging around:
An aid agency says it has found more than 500 migrants abandoned in the Moroccan desert after being expelled from Spain's North African enclaves.

The migrants said they had entered or tried to enter Ceuta and Melilla but were forced back, loaded onto trucks and driven to the Algerian border.
It's sort of the Spanish version of that rendition thing.


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