Spain grants Morocco 32 million euros to help with irregular migration

GRA030 MELILLA, 22/10/2014.- Agentes de Policía junto a algunos de los ochenta inmigrantes que están encaramados desde primera hora a la valla de Melilla, fronteriza con Marruecos, tras el último intento de entrar en la ciudad autonóma protagonizado por varios centenares de subsaharianos, algunos de los cuales, al menos una docena, ha conseguido superar el vallado perimetral. EFE/Francisco G. Guerrero

The Spanish government granted Morocco 32 million euros on Friday to help with the efforts to crack down on illegal migration.

Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) reported that the grant has been given to “support efforts made by the Moroccan authorities to fight against irregular immigration, smuggling of migrants, and human trafficking.”

This aid is on top of another grant of 26 million euros that was approved by the Spanish government on July 5.

Spain also campaigned on behalf of Morocco’s government at the European Union which led to a grant of 140 million euros being approved.

The director of immigration and border surveillance at the Moroccan Ministry of the Interior, Khalid Zerouali, has said that “the €140 million is a start; it will not fix the problem, but it is a welcome gesture.” 

“We also intend to work bilaterally with Spain and Europe in a long-term program,” he added in an interview with Eldiario.es.

The problem of migrants attempting to cross the border has been ongoing for some time and has been putting pressure on both the Spanish and Moroccan governments. Spain has provided Morocco with equipment such as radars, vehicles, and 15 drones to help with the situation and it has been reported that Morocco has successfully stopped more than 40,300 irregular migration attempts so far this year.