Spain could overtake Greece in migrant sea arrivals

Greece has had 11,713 people.

A Spanish guard can be seen breaking his lower leg while attempting to kick one of the charging migrants.

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.

Spain could overtake Greece this year in the number of migrants arriving by sea, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Thursday, using boats and even jet-skis. Overall numbers have fallen by nearly 60 per cent from the same period the previous year.

Every year, thousands of sub-Saharan African migrants living illegally in Morocco try to scale the border fences surrounding Ceuta and Melilla, Spain's other North African enclave, in a bid to enter Europe.

The video comes the same day smugglers forced more than 120 Somali and Ethiopian migrants into rough seas off Yemen, leaving 29 dead and 22 missing.

Spain has to prepare for an increased influx of migrants and refugees as it now does not have the necessary infrastructure, Rosa Otero, a deputy spokeswoman for UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Spain, told Sputnik.

"Given where the people are coming from, it's possible this might explain a shift away from Libya and the increased numbers in Spain", he said.

IOM figures showed that 121 migrant deaths were registered along the Spanish route in 2017, while Italy saw 96,861 arrivals in the same period, with 2,242 deaths registered on that route.

"Otero noted that Spain was capable of welcoming more refugees, adding that it could offer legal alternative ways to reach the country, such as humanitarian or student visas, adding that Spain was a somewhat safer route than those into Italy or Greece".

The teenagers will be taken to migrant reception centres, where they can apply for asylum in Spain.

The number of arrivals from north Africa is likely to increase further due to the good summer weather, said Inigo Villa, head of the disaster management unit at the Red Cross.

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