Migrant surge on “Western route”: Spain could be set to surpass Greece as a gateway for migrants reaching Europe by sea, following a trebling of numbers on the Western Mediterranean route, according to the International Organisation for Migration. Almost 8,300 people have arrived in Spain from Morocco so far this year, with numbers increasing sharply in recent months. Around 11,700 migrants arrived in Greece in the same period. Italy is still receiving the highest number of migrants (96,800 in the year to date), most of them via Libya; but numbers fell by 50% between June and July. The horrific conditions in Libya, where reports abound of migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa being tortured and killed by traffickers – plus renewed efforts by the Libyan coastguard to block migrant boats from setting sail for Italy – may be behind the surge in numbers attempting the Spanish route.