Spain sets up migrant command center amid surge


THESSALONIKI: Spain is setting up a central operational command for migrant management amid a summer surge in arrivals from North Africa, which is placing a strain on public services.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced Friday that the unit will coordinate Spain’s response to the thousands of migrants arriving each month.

Sanchez says his government is in talks with Morocco, from where traffickers take the migrants across the Mediterranean, and the migrants’ countries of origin.

The United Nations Migration Agency says in the first five months of this year 8,150 migrants were rescued in Spanish waters. But since the end of May, almost 15,000 have been saved from boats — more than 240 a day as Spain surpassed Italy as the main EU destination for migrants coming by sea.