The Canary Islands Emergency Services announced that more than 1,600 African migrants arrived on the shores of the Spanish islands in just 48 hours.
In a statement given to the AFP agency, a spokesperson for the Canary Islands emergency services said that on Saturday, about twenty boats carrying a thousand people landed in the islands of Gran Canaria, Tenerife and El Hierro while the body of a migrant was recovered in El Hierro. The next day, another 600 people managed to reach the region and were taken over by the local authorities.
During a visit to the Canary Islands last Friday, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said that “many people do not need international protection”. This means that returns to countries of origin and transit can be considered.
According to the European Commissioner, “providing international protection to those who need it is a moral obligation, a fundamental right, but those who do not need this international protection must return to their country of origin”. In this context, Ylva Johansson announced that, in the face of the explosion of arrivals on the islands, Spain and the European Commission are working together to organise returns to countries of origin and transit.