A member of the Spanish Red Cross at the port of Tarifa (southern Spain) carries a baby, one of 245 migrants that were rescued at sea, 13 July 2018. Spanish Maritime Rescue services rescued a total of 245 people who were trying to reach Spain traveling on ten small boats. EPA/A.CARRASCO RAGEL
A member of the Spanish Red Cross at the port of Tarifa (southern Spain) carries a baby, one of 245 migrants that were rescued at sea, 13 July 2018. Spanish Maritime Rescue services rescued a total of 245 people who were trying to reach Spain traveling on ten small boats. EPA/A.CARRASCO RAGEL

The migrant emergency continues in Andalusia, where 892 people arrived at the weekend. Spain has thus surpassed Italy in terms of the number of migrants arriving on its shores.

The migrant emergency isn't showing any signs of slowing in Spain, where over 892 people were rescued at the weekend off the coasts of Andalusia. 


Meanwhile, police and civil guard unions denounced the lack of resources and coordination to deal with the mass arrivals. 

Spain has surpassed Italy for the number of arrivals since the beginning of the year through July 15. A total of 18,016 migrants have arrived on Spanish coasts through the western Mediterranean route, compared to 17,827 migrants who have arrived in Italy from Libya on the central Mediterranean route, according to figures released on Tuesday by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). 

In the same period, 14,678 migrants reached the southern border of Europe through the eastern Mediterranean route, between Greece and Turkey. 




Since the start of the year, 1,443 migrants have lost their lives at sea in the deadly Mediterranean crossing: 1,104 on the central route, 294 on the western route, and 45 on the eastern route. 

700 picked up in the Strait of Gibraltar 

The majority of foreigners who arrived in Spain at the weekend - about 700 people - were picked up by vessels in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar, and were brought to Tarifa and Algeciras, according to Maritime Rescue sources. The Andres Mateo Multisport Centre in Algeciras has been used since Friday as a temporary centre for identification and initial processing of asylum requests. Municipal workers were made available to national police in assisting about 300 migrants hosted there. 

The wave of arrivals brought on a breakdown, following the dismantling last Tuesday of the temporary assistance centre that had been set up at the Tarifa indoor sports complex, which had been assisting 500 people. Meanwhile, the new reception structure announced for the port installations at San Roque is not yet operational. On Friday night, about 60 migrants had to sleep outdoors in the port of Barbate, which led to the Unified Police Union (SUP) and the Unified Association of Civil Guards (AUGC) to complain about the "lack of coordination and resources". 

In a statement, SUP cited difficulties in accommodating 121 unaccompanied minors who arrived in Algeciras on Sunday, due to the overcrowding of centres for minors in the coastal city. "There's a total lack of coordination," said a SUP union member in a radio broadcast. 

Meeting on migrants and security with King Felipe 

The migratory crisis, together with jihadist terrorism and peace missions abroad, was the focus of the National Security Council meeting on July 16 at Zarzuela Palace. The meeting was presided by King Felipe VI, with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and the ministers responsible. 

In an official statement, the Council highlighted the need for "constant and coordinated effort" in response to irregular immigration flows, the fight against human trafficking, and in sufficient protection to those with the requisites for applying for political asylum. 
 

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