The elsewhere of the "harraguas" made in Algeria passes by the road of the Balearic Islands

Dreaming of a better future, many Algerians opt for elsewhere and illegal immigration is undoubtedly one of the best ways to achieve it. Elsewhere made in Algeria, with regard to an unpromising surroundings, is called Spain and more particularly the Balearic route.

The latter representing for young Algerians the least annoying of the alternatives to reach the other side of the Mediterranean. As a reminder, in 2021, around 10,000 Algerians had used it to return to the peninsula illegally. This phenomenon is explained by the precarious situation that Algeria is going through from an economic point of view and which encourages the young population to leave it.

Over the previous two years, coinciding with the pandemic, Algeria has become one of the main emitters of irregular immigration, an upward trend, especially as checks in the country of origin have been reduced. . In recent years, there has been a continuous increase in irregular arrivals of Algerians via the Mediterranean to Spanish shores, exceeding the number of Moroccans. According to Frontex, in 2021 and so far in 2022, 13,000 Algerians and 6,000 Moroccans have arrived in Spain via this Mediterranean route.

To this end, a report by the Center for Strategic Thinking, Real Elcano, entitled: “The crisis between Spain and Algeria and its impact on migration relationsrecalls, painfully, the ins and outs of this phenomenon that is illegal immigration. The document of the Center, which indirectly advises the Spanish Executive and other Institutions, such as the army or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for example, which adopt its research and their recommendations, classifies Algeria as “the main player in the Spanish policy for managing migratory flows from Africa“.

The report also indicates that cooperation between Spain and Algeria has existed for many years, which had led to a decrease in irregular migration from Algeria to Spain. Unfortunately, this cooperation came to a halt following a change in the position of the Spanish government, when Madrid publicly declared itself in favor of the Moroccan plan for the autonomy of the Moroccan Sahara and suddenly the migratory phenomenon started up again. The study highlighted how the recent political crisis, after Spain’s change of position, negatively affected the migration file, and how Algeria no longer monitors irregular migration since, even encouraging it.

Also, the document recommends that Madrid deal with the issue of illegal immigration with Algeria by internationalizing it towards Europe within the framework of agreements with the European Union instead of studying it bilaterally (Spain- Algeria). The research center’s document recommends that Spain use the European institutions to deal with the phenomenon of illegal immigration with Algeria, as long as it has become a weapon and Algeria uses it to pressure.

But, it goes beyond Spanish national interests and the protection of Spanish coasts against immigration. Indeed, it also concerns European interests in general. Spain had, moreover, raised at the NATO summit in Madrid the need to address immigration from the angle of security when it becomes a weapon for third countries.

Algeria, as a reminder, had suspended the friendship treaty which has bound it to Spain for 20 years. De facto, the cooperation of the two countries around “the management of migratory flows” suffers from this. For the thousands of “harragas” or illegal Algerians who arrive in Spain every year by sea, this is a decision with serious consequences. Indeed, during the first half of last year, the crisis with Algeria triggered migratory movements up 45% in terms of arrivals in Spain and the Balearic Islands. The axiom of the increase in the number of makeshift or non-makeshift boats crossing the Mediterranean on a daily basis from the Algerian coast testifies to the magnitude.

Furthermore, a report from the Spanish Interior Ministry indicates a downward trend in the differential of irregular arrivals in Spain, going from the 79% increase recorded on 15 February to the 3.3% increase on 31 July. This increase is slightly higher than that recorded the previous fortnight, but it is far from the records of the first months of the year.

The same goes for specific arrivals to the Canary Islands, which went from an increase of 134% on February 28 to an increase of 27.3% on July 31, slightly lower than the differential recorded the previous fortnight (+27, 49%). In Spain, the immigrant reception center is changing. Because if we were once concerned about the migratory avalanche in the Canary Islands, this time it is in the east of the country that the situation becomes worrying.

Indeed, the fear of a rebound in illegal immigration to the Balearic Islands, the preferred arrival destination for Algerians in Spain and Europe is indeed real. As proof in 24 hours on Tuesday, six boats arrived with 98 immigrants, including five women, on board. So far in 2022, about 50 boats with 838 immigrants have arrived in the islands for (40 and 578) at the same period last year, showing an increase rate of 45%.


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