Migrants Mass At Spain-Morocco Border As Europe Says 'won't Be Intimidated'

Migrants mass at Spain-Morocco border as Europe says 'won't be intimidated'

Ceuta, Spain, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 19th May, 2021 ) :A steady stream of migrants tried to swim to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta Wednesday, after a record influx of arrivals sent diplomatic tensions soaring between Madrid and Rabat.

A European commissioner vowed that the continent would not be "intimidated" after some 8,000 migrants rushed into Ceuta since Monday.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez vowed to "restore order" after the unprecedented surge, and said Wednesday that some 4,800 migrants had been sent back.

The influx comes against the backdrop of soaring tensions with Morocco over Spain's decision to provide medical treatment for the leader of the Western Sahara independence movement, Polisario Front, who has been seriously ill with Covid-19.

It has revived the thorny issue of migration into the EU, with the Vice President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, saying Wednesday the continent "won't be intimidated by anyone." Speaking on Spanish radio, he said there have been "a few attempts by third countries... over the past 15 months" to leverage the migrant issue.

In a veiled reference to Rabat, Schinas said on Spanish radio that Europe would "not be a victim of these tactics".

"Ceuta is Europe, this border is a European border and what happens there is not a problem for Madrid, but a problem for all" Europeans, he said.