Spain: Canary Islanders express concern over govt handling of migrant surge

Residents of Arguineguin, Gran Canaria, expressed their concern about the Spanish government's handling of the recent surge in migrants arriving to the islands in the port town on Saturday. «Suddenly, in the last times (days/months) they started to arrive 300, another 300, 100, and this has been filled up with up to 2,000 people,» Patricia said, referring to the large increase in arrivals. Today 860 people remain on the quay, although on previous days there were 2,300. Denis, a local fisherman, criticised the government for its «lack of control over the different ministries involved» and said that in Europe «there are many more funds and many more possibilities for rapid action to decongest this issue». For his part, a resident called Isidro regretted the treatment received by the migrants, which he said was similar to that of «caged animals», although he expressed concern about the possibility that the migrants would increase the number of cases of COVID-19 on the Canary Islands. On 20 November, the Spanish government announced that it will provide 7,000 places for migrants in camps. According to reports, between January 1 and November 15, 16,760 migrants and 553 boats arrived on the Canary Islands' coasts, an increase of 1,019 percent over the previous year.

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