Spain becomes the new main entry point for migrants leaving Africa for the European Union, according to the immigration statistics for the first five months of 2018.
From January through May, 19,000 migrants and refugees arrived in Spain, almost as much as for the whole of 2017, and, for the first time, more than the number of those who arrived in Italy. The influx has intensified in recent weeks, given that the new Italian government has closed the county’s ports to most asylum-seekers.
Migrants arrive weekly in rubber dinghies, in most cases without sufficient fuel to complete the crossing, and the Spanish Coast Guard is under pressure. The Spanish authorities have begun to train more rescuers to cope with the increase in arrivals, according to union representatives of the Coast Guard.