Spain: Canary Islands residents protest rising number of illegal immigrants, tensions rise after brutal attack

17,000 migrants arrived this year

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Dénes Albert

There is growing tension in the Canary Islands in Spain between migrants and locals, and protests have been sparked following reports of migrants assaulting islanders. By the end of November this year, at least 17,000 migrants had arrived on the islands, most of whom were accommodated in hotels, apparently at the expense of Spanish taxpayers, however, there are more and more clashes with locals, and their mass presence is also a threat to tourism, which is already facing a difficult situation.
A group of angry locals marched in front of a hotel in the Canary Islands, where mostly Arab illegal immigrants are housed. According to reports, Mogan residents have had enough of the migrants who have been steadily arriving in the city in recent months, according to Hungarian news outlet Origo .
The last straw was when a 27-year-old man, Kevin, was beaten and robbed by a gang of migrants. The man became aware last Wednesday that a gang of West African Arab youths were insulting two girls in Mogan. Kevin hurried to their aid, calling on the migrants to leave the girls alone. At that point, witnesses say that members of the group attacked him while one of them shouted, “Let’s kill him.”
Kevin’s brother told the press about the incident. News outlet Canarias7 reported that the attackers then ran away, but the man went after them to get his phone, wallet and keys back. He eventually got his cell phone and wallet back from an older member of the gang, but not his license and lock key. The man suffered such serious injuries that he had to be transported to the hospital and authorities initiated proceedings against the migrants.
However, according to the victim’s family, such attacks are becoming more common on the island. The Canary Islands have already received at least 17,000 illegal immigrants this year, the highest number since 2015. Approximately 8,000 of them landed on the islands in November alone , which is believed to be a record for one month. About 6,000 of them are housed in hotels, which cost Spanish taxpayers €300,000 a day.
Fearing that another wave of migration would have a detrimental effect on tourism, which is already in a difficult situation due to the coronavirus epidemic and could delay the islands’ economic recovery, the Tourist Board and the municipalities of Mogán and San Bartolomé de Tirajana turned to the Madrid government for help even at the end of November. The Tourist Board is pushing to have migrants living in hotels transferred to reception centers.
Title image: Migrants are seen at Barranco Seco makeshift migrant camp in Gran Canaria island, Spain on Monday Nov. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Javier Fergo)


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