Mi­grant sea ar­rivals ris­ing in Spain, could out­pace Greece

The Oklahoman - - NATION | WORLD -

Sun­bathers on a south­ern Span­ish beach were star­tled this week when 30 to 40 fully clothed men pulled up to shore in a rub­ber boat and scat­tered across the sand.

The next day, about 700 other mi­grants from Africa tried un­suc­cess­fully to storm the bor­der cross­ing be­tween Morocco and Ceuta, a tiny Span­ish en­clave on Africa’s north­west tip.

The two in­ci­dents were the lat­est ev­i­dence of the sig­nif­i­cant uptick in the num­ber of mi­grants seek­ing to make Spain their Euro­pean point of en­try. The pace has quick­ened so rapidly in re­cent months that some ex­perts think the coun­try could over­take Greece in the num­ber of new­com­ers ar­riv­ing by boat this year.

The In­ter­na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Mi­gra­tion says 8,385 mi­grants have reached Spain by sea so far this year, more than dou­ble the num­ber from the same pe­riod last year.

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