Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Migrant sea arrivals up sharply in Spain in 2017

Migrant sea arrivals up sharply in Spain in 2017

According to the IOM, 117,795 refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 so far, with nearly 83 percent arriving in Italy.

According to Otero, 7,900 people arrived in Andalusia in the first seven months of the year, nearly triple the number of arrivals in the same period in 2016.

Spanish media reported that about 40 migrants were on the boat. The IOM reports that 97,000 migrants have gotten to Italy by boat so far this year, slightly down from the 100,000 who did so during the same period last year.

However, overall numbers of migrants have fallen by nearly 60% from the same period the previous year.

If Spain's average monthly arrivals of between 1,500 and 2,000 people keep up, "it's a pretty good bet that it will overtake Greece", IOM spokesman Joel Millman told The Associated Press.

Spain and Morocco on Wednesday agreed to close the Tarajal post to freight traffic for a week because of recent migrant crossing attempts.

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A court in southern Germany has convicted three Syrian men over the drowning deaths of 13 migrants off the coast of Greece in September 2015.

The bodies of 25 migrants have been recovered along the route this year, but the total number of deaths is likely to be far higher as most corpses are never found, Borowski added.

"Given where the people are coming from, it's possible this might explain a shift away from Libya and the increased numbers in Spain", he said.

More than 11,000 migrants have made their way to Spain in the first half of 2017, more than 8,300 of whom arrived by boat. The passengers, mostly from Morocco and neighboring Algeria, were looking for a better life in Europe and using Spain as a doorway.

Spain is still far behind Italy, which received 96,861 until 9 August, according IOM figures.

Inigo Vila, in charge of emergencies for the Red Cross in Spain, said the organisation had reinforced the number of people working on the coast in southern Andalusia and in Ceuta to help migrants when they make landfall.

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