Avalanche of migrant boats in the Balearic Islands from Algeria

Since Christmas, at least 250 people have entered the Balearic Islands illegally from Algeria, Spanish media report. The reason, there are no checks at the origin of the country of departure since the suspension, in June by Algiers, of the friendship treaty between Spain and Algeria.

But not only! Even the climate is involved, through the extremely high temperatures and therefore mild for a crossing at this time of the year as well as the effects of a wind known as Solano or Levante and which blows from the East towards the Balearic archipelago.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning alone (December 28), the “Salvamento Maritimo“ Maritime Rescue rescued 77 people of North African origin (mostly Algerians and Tunisians) who were trying to reach the Canary Islands on board of two boats, including four women and two children.

All were landed in the port of Arrecife safe and sound. On the same Wednesday, seven drifting makeshift boats with 136 people on board were rescued. It was apparently on Tuesday that the avalanche of clando arrivals on the coasts of the Balearic Islands began when 13 people of North African origin (Algerians and Tunisians in particular) were arrested by agents of the Armando Institute and the local police, after disembarking from a small boat on Migjorn beach in Formentera.

Then the flow continued steadily on Wednesday and Thursday when 68 people (54 North Africans and 14 sub-Saharans in three boats) were intercepted south of the island of Cabrera, off the south coast of Mallorca.

Later in Cala Figuera, in the Majorcan municipality of Santanyi, a boat was intercepted, located in this by the radar of the Integrated Foreign Surveillance Service (SIVE), with 21 people (including a sub-Saharan) on board. And the arrivals of illegal immigrants have not stopped.

In the past 24 hours alone, seven boats carrying 149 immigrants have been intercepted in the Balearic Islands. In total, so far this year, 173 boats with 2,558 immigrants have been detected, according to the Efe count, while in the whole of 2021, 164 boats with 2,402 immigrants have arrived in the archipelago, thus confirming fears of the reactivation of immigration routes from Algeria. The influx of migration routes vary depending on different factors.

If arrivals in the Canary Islands were a concern a few months ago, it is now in those of eastern Spain that we are worried about the side of the Peninsula. But this phenomenon should not come as a surprise because indeed, during the previous two years, coinciding with the pandemic, Algeria has become one of the main emitters of irregular immigration.

A strongly upward trend, especially since June, especially since checks in the country of origin have been reduced to their simple expression, following the suspension of the treaty of friendship, good neighborliness and cooperation signed with Spain in 2002.

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