Spain Defends Hard Line On North African Border Immigration


MADRID – Spain will not tolerate violent attempts to enter the country, the government said on Wednesday, in response to criticism of its swift return of 116 illegal migrants to Morocco after they stormed the fence bordering one of its North African enclaves.

The country’s southern shores have become the main gateway into Europe for migrants seeking a better life, ahead of Italy and Greece, particularly since Italy’s new populist government began refusing to admit rescue boats.

Human rights groups complained the return was carried out too quickly to give the migrants access to legal assistance and interpreters, and to identify asylum seekers, while political opponents criticised the government’s approach as inconsistent.

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