- Twitter/Jaime Moreno
A boat full of migrants landed on a busy Spanish tourist beach in the middle of the day, showing how Europe’s migration crisis is shifting further west.
Footage recorded by sunbathers on Wednesday shows a black dinghy carrying 20 to 30 people land on Playa de los Alemanes, a beach near the Strait of Gibraltar. The people inside can then be seen disembarking and running up the beach.
The footage was posted on Twitter by Jaime Moreno, who said his sister was on the beach and sent him a recording of what happened:
Zahara de los Atunes. Dos de la tarde pic.twitter.com/IvYGmbfE4E
— Jaime Moreno (@GolfJaime) August 9, 2017
The incident is a stark demonstration of how the flow of migrants from Africa and the Middle East to Europe has steadily shifted westward since it first flared up in 2015.
The first flashpoint was around Turkey and the Greek islands, where hundreds of thousands of people made the short sea crossing to reach European soil.
Stricter border policing, and a political deal between Turkey and the EU, helped reduce the flow there.
- Google Maps/Business Insider
Italy soon replaced Greece as the centre of events, with the greatest number of migrants travelling from Libya across the Mediterranean.
But crossings from Morocco to Spain – a distance of nine miles at its narrowest point – are growing rapidly.
According to UN figures published in July, Italy was still the most popular entry point to Europe, with 59,000 arrivals in the first half of 2017.
But newer data from the Italian government has suggested that figures are beginning to fall, in part because of increased sea patrols by the Libyan Navy and the EU.
Some 6,800 people arrived in Spain between January and May this year, nearly 90% fewer than in Italy. But the figure has risen 75% in a single year, suggesting that the movement is beginning to shift.