THE number of undocumented migrants arriving in Spain has broken records two months before the end of the year, according to government statistics.
The latest data from the Ministry of the Interior showed more than 47,860 migrants arrived in Spain from the start of this year up to October 31. That is around 8,500 more than the previous record set in 2006, according to statistics.
The news comes as Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Spain and the European Union (EU) were committed to helping Morocco curb the number of migrants attempting to reach the continent.
Sanchez was in Morocco on a state visit earlier this week. The country shares land borders with the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, with those and the Strait of Gibraltar among the leading routes for migrants attempting to reach Spain.
Current Interior Ministry forecasts predict that up to 57,000 migrants could have arrived in Spain by the end of this year.
That would be around 18,000 more than the previous record set in 2006. That year saw the ‘Crisis of the Cayucos’ when thousands of people from Mauritania and Senegal arrived in boats on the Canary Islands fleeing poverty in their home countries.
The government has denied any link between allowing the Aquarius migrant rescue ship to dock in Valencia City and the surge in the number of arrivals.
The rising number of migrants coming to Spain began in 2017, the government said. It became harder for refugees fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and North Africa to travel along previously popular routes between Libya and Italy and Turkey and Greece.
Security officials said an agreement between Turkey and the European Union (EU) to cut migration and instability in Libya meant sea routes into Spain were the only way into the continent.