Street protests in Canaries over hotels occupied by thousands of migrants
Brits are going to be put off from taking a holiday in the Canary Islands because hotels in popular resorts are being used to house thousands of illegal immigrants, say tourism leaders.
More than 3,200 migrants are currently staying
in hotel rooms as the Spanish government, which has pledged 7,000 bed spaces,
has not yet announced alternative accommodation to help in the escalating
Tourism leaders say it is WRONG that the
illegal immigrants who have been constantly arriving on the beaches of the
Canaries in tiny boats are being put up in hotels and other holiday
And they have announced that unless the rooms
are vacated by December 31st, they will take LEGAL action to get the migrants
They believe it is only a matter of time
before the British government allows UK residents to travel abroad again and in
the Canary Islands, the requirement to go into quarantine on return to Britain
has already been lifted.
On Gran Canaria, the tourist resorts of Mogan
and Puerto Rico are furious about the decision to hand over hotels and flats
for the migrants. They say it is hampering their efforts to restore tourism and
they have taken to the streets to protest.
The campaign group “Let’s save tourism in
Mogán” says the hotels and apartment complexes being used in the
municipality must be vacated.
The Spanish government says it will provide
the 7,000 reception places in the Canaries but at the moment, only one camp for
400 has been set up.
Platform spokesperson, Carmelo Segura claimed:
“At this moment it is in danger that tourists will return to the Canary
Islands if the migrants continue to stay in hotels. It is incompatible.”
Mayor of Mogán, Onalia Bueno said the issuing
countries would soon begin to lift restrictions and tourism would return to the
Canary Islands, something that she considered “very necessary because tourism
gives life, it is the main economic engine of the municipality and from Gran
“But we cannot consent that due to the
inaction of the Government of Spain to raise the 7,000 beds announced to
accommodate migrants, tourist areas cannot return to develop their natural
activity,” he stressed.
Further demonstrations are planned for
December 4th and 11th.
Mogan’s mayor said all the hotels and holiday
flats being used by the migrants would be inspected on January 3rd and if they
had not been vacated, they would take legal action under the law which protects
President of the Canary government, Angel
Victor Torres confirmed that so far this year, around 21,000 migrants had
arrived on the islands and of these, around 10,000 remained.
He said the Canaries didn’t want to become
their “prison or wall” but he didn’t know how they were going to
“Perhaps we have to talk less and act
more,” he said.
Mr. Torres said there were 13 repatriation
agreements with African countries and added: “We cannot deal with this
He said it was a matter of regret that camps
set up in 2006 during the earlier height of the migration crisis had been
dismantled. The Canary government, he said, had been pressing for months
for military installations be reactivated.
The migrants have been arriving on all of the
Canary islands, including Tenerife where boats have landed on the beaches of
the capital of Santa Cruz in the north as well as the popular tourist resorts
in the south of Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos.
And in Gran Canaria, the main dock in Las
Palmas has been the scene of constant arrivals and make-shift camps for up to
2,000 illegal arrivals.