Spain’s swing on refugee issue

Spain's swing on the refugee ie

Image: Yann Levy / SOS MEDITERRANEE

Segregation is increasingly on the agenda and Morocco is increasingly detaining refugees and migrants after EU promises of millions of euros

There were already signs that Spain, too, would increasingly focus on sealing itself off from refugees and migrants. The country that hinted at a shift toward more humane policies after the change of government is now changing course. Some had hoped the new Social Democratic head of government, Pedro Sanchez, would counter hardliners in Europe by taking in the Aquarius rescue ship in June with 629 refugees. This is now proving to be a miscalculation.

After massive criticism from the right-wing opposition – even his opponent in the party did not remain silent – Sanchez also did not want to retake Aquarius, which had sent out a call for help on Sunday. She has 141 refugees on board (rescue ship Aquarius: Gibraltar threatens to withdraw flag). Madrid has argued that Spain is not a "safe haven". According to international maritime law, the "the next port".

In June, the government did not care, as it wanted to present itself in a more progressive light. The Aquarius was still brought to Barcelona. Now this has not been done, although the Catalan government has offered to accept also these refugees.

In the meantime, however, it is reported that a solution for the Aquarius has been found, in which six countries participate. Spain will take only 60 of the 141 refugees, Portugal 30 and the rest will be distributed among France, Germany, Luxembourg and Malta. On the Mediterranean island will go ashore the Aquarius, the government of Malta has announced.

No "Deportations", but one "Preventing the intrusion"

However, the Spanish pivot becomes much clearer on another ie. The Social Democrats (PSOE) had promised in their election program to "gag law" to be abolished again. Hidden in it, the conservative protagonists had tried to prevent the so-called "remain regressions" to Morocco from the Spanish exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla by law than "Rejection at the border" to secure.

The "violates international protection rights and the right to apply for asylum", the PSOE had denounced the actions of the Conservative. In response to a Twitter query from journalist Helena Maleno, the current head of government, Sanchez, responded unequivocally last September: "Yes Helena. We demand the full repeal of the gag law and strongly reject the remaining repressions."

But that’s water under the bridge. This can be seen very clearly in a letter from the Ministry of Public Prosecution, which has just been sent to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg. The right-wing processors had appealed against a ruling from last October, which had condemned Spain for excessive deportations. In the 76-page letter, the Sanchez government adopts the wording and argumentation of the processors, writes even the newspaper El PaIs, which is close to the Social Democrats.

There were no "Deportations", but a "Preventing the intrusion". The refugees had "European legal area" not enter the market because they "Police line" have not overcome. The border for the new government will no longer be marked by six-meter fences lined with dangerous razor wire. It is called "flexible" defined, as did the right-wing processors. This definition was rejected by the ECHR and also by the PSOE in opposition. This reasoning had already been used recently by the controversial Interior Minister and hardliner Fernando Grande-Marlaska, which is why this line was foreseeable and predictable.

Morocco: "Racist crackdowns in key cities and forced deportations"

In Morocco, too, the Spanish government’s swing is already having an effect. In order to shift the closure away from the exclaves or the coasts to the interior, Sanchez had urged the EU Commission to accelerate the disbursement of 55 million euros to Morocco and Tunisia for border management.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had declared that he shared with Sanchez that it was "Urgent need for action" and something must be done quickly. Therefore, it grants the Spanish request "Priority" a. Juncker be himself "Deliberately", that the needs in Morocco even required a significantly higher financial commitment.

From the North African country the journalist Maleno reports "Racist crackdowns in key cities and forced deportations of thousands of people". Sanchez had once promised the Spanish human rights activist, who lives in Morocco, that hot deportations would be stopped.

Confirmed have the Spanish newspaper eldiario.it also affected the deportations. In one action, some 600 people, including women and children, were arrested and shipped by police to the Sud Moroccan interior in Tiznit, he said. They were taken to the middle of the desert, 800 kilometers away from the exclaves by the sea, one of the victims reported by telephone.

"The raids, arrests and deportations of people from sub-Saharan countries have begun after the EU agreed to pay the country tens of millions for ‘cooperation and development’", writes the newspaper. The Moroccan human rights association AMDH complains that women and children in the Bolingo camp have also been attacked and mistreated by the police.

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