Lanzarote furious with Spanish Government for “ignoring” migrant crisis
Lanzarote has declared an official humanitarian emergency after more than 100 African migrant children flooded onto the beaches in tiny boats.
The island’s leaders have slammed the lack of resources and says the youngsters have been sleeping in tents in a special camp which cannot meet their needs.
They are furious with the Spanish Government for “ignoring” the problem and its refusal to allow the Canary Government to use army barracks in Arrecife as overflow accommodation.
The situation has got so bad that the island’s government is having to use a popular youth hostel to house the immigrants and close it to tourists.
Island president Pedro San Ginés said there had been a constant stream of illegal immigrants arriving in Lanzarote over the last few weeks and slammed “the lack of sensitivity and response of the central government to this humanitarian crisis and migratory problem that exists in the Canaries.”
The well-known Albergue de La Santa is now to be cleared of all guests to make way for the migrant children and can take around 120 of them.
Lanzarote’s government, the Cabildo, has also severely criticised the “inefficiency” of Spain’s border control service and the constant arrival of small boats over the last few days which should have been intercepted.
Declaring a state of humani-tarian emergency will allow the island’s council to use other accommodation, such as the hostel, for up to three months.
As well as staying in the tents in an official camp, the children have been put up in a nature classroom and other houses.
Other islands within the Canaries might also take some of the youngsters.
Pedro San Ginés said the situation was “seriously affecting the island of Lan-zarote” which is hugely popular with British families.
National deputies of Citi-zens (Cs) for the Canary Islands, Melisa Rodríguez and Saúl Ramírez have called on the Spanish Government to explain its lack of actions to help with the flood of immigrants.
They say that up until Sep-tember 30th, 659 immigrants have reached the Canaries by sea, 522 more than in the same period of 2017, “which means multiply by five the figures of last year.”
They believe lack of controls by Morocco is to blame.