Europe vows to help Spain with illegals.
Immigration: Not that it is doing so out of pity and it really likes Spain.
|MADRID, Spain May 29, 2006 (AP)— European countries far removed from Spain's immigration crisis in the Canary Islands pledged Monday to send planes and patrol boats to help stem the flood of destitute Africans seeking a better life, officials said. Some 400 more migrants arrived at the islands by boat over the weekend. Authorities have intercepted more than 6,000 migrants since January, compared with 4,751 caught in all of 2005. The accord is a follow-up to an announcement of aid last week from the European Commission in Brussels, although more meetings are planned to decide which countries will send what and who will pay for it, the Spanish Interior Ministry said. Spain estimates that in addition to its own planes and vessels monitoring small, crowded boats that bring migrants from west Africa to the Canary Islands, the new plan requires at least five patrol boats, five helicopters and a surveillance aircraft, Deputy Interior Minister Antonio Camacho told a meeting of European Union representatives. The next meeting to decide the details is scheduled for sometime after June 2, the ministry said. The countries that have agreed in principle to help Spain are France, Britain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Finland, officials said. The problem is European not just Spanish because the Canary Islands are just like any other part of Spain, and in theory at least, borderless EU travel rules mean someone arriving in the islands can travel to many other parts of Europe without having to show a passport.|