Only yesterday the Canarian Government’s minister for Budget, Treasury and Europe, Román Rodríguez, called on Madrid and the EU to help deal with the number of migrant craft arriving at these islands this year, a number that is said to have increased fivefold as other routes through the Mediterranean have been closed down. His comments came as yet another craft was spotted near Tenerife, it being transferred to Santa Cruz where its 31 occupants were received for health checks by Cruz Roja and processing by Guardia Civil.
Overnight, however, six more craft with 128 occupants on board have arrived at the Canaries. Three pateras carrying 55 migrants have reached Gran Canaria, and a fourth with 67 on board was directed to Los Cristianos. These were followed at first light by two further craft which are being processed in Gran Canaria. All on board are said to have been assessed as in reasonable health, with just one needing minor medical assistance for a foot injury.
There are likely to be strong words following these arrivals, however, from the Canarian authorities given comments over the past couple of days in Parliament and to media, and Rodríguez has already said that the regional Government is not prepared for the islands effectively to become a prison camp for those dreaming of a better life.