EU pledges support to stem migrant arrivals to Spain
Commission chief 'shares sense of urgency' about irregular migrant arrivals to Spain in letter to Spanish premier
By Serife Cetin
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday sent a letter to Spain's premier to show the bloc's will to stem migrant arrivals to Spanish shores.
In a letter to Pedro Sanchez, Juncker said he "shares the sense of urgency" about the rise in irregular immigration, and assured the full support of the commission.
Juncker's promise comes after the Spanish government asked the EU to provide "emergency assistance" for help to combat the migrant flux from Morocco to the country.
Sanchez on Sunday requested €30 million ($35 million) from a European fund on migration.
"The full support of the European Commission to develop the appropriate and effective response to address the increasing migratory pressure along the Western Mediterranean route," he wrote.
Juncker recalled a €55 million fund was approved last July as part of the Border Management program of the EU for the border guards in Morocco and Tunisia.
The commission head, however, said the EU is unable to help West Africa manage its borders, citing the union’s limited funds.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Spanish shores have received over 20,000 irregular migrants while more than 300 of them lost their lives during perilous journeys.