Record number of migrants arrive in Spain

Migrants wait to be rescued by

Over 100,000 migrants reached Europe from North Africa and the Middle East from January to June, the overwhelming majority coming by sea, according to the International Organization of Migration.

One man - reported being a 28-year-old from Guinea - drowned before he could be ferried to safety on the coast of Ceuta.

According to El Pais, which quoted sources from European Union border agency Frontex, smugglers want on average 1,000 euros per passenger against last year's 500.

Since eight of the top 10 African countries where migrants live before they look to Libya as a jumping off point are located in western Africa, heading north to Morocco and trying for Spain could be cheaper, easier and safer, he said.

According to the EU's Frontex border agency, 7,500 immigrants made the crossing to Spain in the first three months of the year, compared with 3,600 in the same period last year.

'If so, that's a big change'.

While the figure pales in comparison with arrivals in Italy - where more than 96,400 have landed so far this year - Spain is catching up with Greece where 11,713 have arrived by sea in the same timeframe.

"Whereas in Spain, the strategy is smaller craft hoping to come in undetected, and undoubtedly some do".

Spokesman Manuel Gonzalez told AFP that while they did not have any ID on them, they were thought to be from Morocco.

While migrants often camp in crowded tent ghettos upon arrival, a great many disperse throughout Western Europe over a period of time.

The migrants were eventually rounded up and taken to a reception centre, where they can apply for asylum in Spain.

The migrants either make it to the Spanish coast or are intercepted in the Mediterranean Sea by Spain's marine rescue service and then taken ashore. "And others are fine and recover quickly", he said.

Spain and Morocco agreed yesterday to close the Tarajal post to freight traffic for a week because of recent migrant crossing attempts.

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