Spain to send minors back to Morocco

Madrid and Rabat signed an agreement on Friday on the staggered repatriation of the 700 Moroccan minors who have been held in the Spanish exclave of Ceuta since May. At that time, around 10,000 people crossed the border and the adults were immediately deported. The country's press is outraged by how Spain's government now plans to deal with these minors.

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El País (ES) /

Examine individual cases

Despite the tense situation in the small exclave of Ceuta, the laws must be obeyed, El País points out:

“Under the circumstances it is understandable that he [Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska] tried to take advantage of the thaw in relations with Morocco to propose a repatriation programme. However, according to some NGOs, some of these minors have a history of labour exploitation or forced marriage that at the very least need to be investigated. Any indiscriminate repatriation violates Spanish and international law. ... One would have expected a different behaviour and a different way of dealing with these minors from this government.”

La Vanguardia (ES) /

A great opportunity missed

The consequences of the pact between Madrid and Rabat have been mainly negative, La Vanguardia concludes:

“For the few minors who have already been returned to their country, for the Spanish government, which has been accused by the public prosecutor's office, the ombudsman, Spain's General Bar Association and several NGOs of not acting in accordance with the law. And for the coalition that governs our country. ... Various studies have recently shown that Europe will need millions and millions of immigrants in the coming decades to fulfil certain tasks. ... Crises like this should be seen as an opportunity to reach agreements and a cross-party consensus.”