Migrants killed on Spanish border

At least 23 people died on Friday when migrants stormed the border fence between Morocco and the Spanish exclave of Melilla. NGOs denounced above all the brutality of the Moroccan border guards in handling the stampede. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez praised the cooperation between the two countries' authorities. Commentators are shocked.

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Il Manifesto (IT) /

Cynical hypocrisy

Il Manifesto is appalled by Sánchez's remarks:

“The socialist head of government hastened to praise and thank the Moroccan gendarmerie for successfully repelling what he described as an organised attempt at a violent assault on the state's borders. ... Nothing went unnoticed: neither the cynicism of an attitude informed by the most cynical realpolitik - the need to consolidate relations with Mohammed VI's regime at the expense of the rights of the Sahrawi people - nor the hypocrisy of describing Friday's desperate attempt as an attack on the territorial integrity of Spain while Madrid unhesitatingly accepts 100,000 Ukrainian, white and Christian refugees.”

De Morgen (BE) /

Immigration policy needs to be changed

The tragic incident is further proof of the failure of Europe's migration policy, De Morgen laments:

“More legal migration would perhaps be welcome on a continent that doesn't want its population to become overaged and its prosperity to vanish. ... In addition, more needs to be done to address the causes of migration - strengthening trade with poorer or emerging countries, for example. If we don't want tomatoes from the Maghreb, we have to accept that people from the Maghreb come here themselves.”

Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

Europe in a bad way

Karin Janker, Madrid correspondent for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, finds it unacceptable that Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez voiced no regret but instead praised the security forces:

“How low has morality sunk in Europe that a left-wing politician who calls himself progressive can speak so callously about the death of unarmed people? That he approves of border guards piling up half-dead and dead people in front of them, as documented by video footage filmed at the border in Melilla, and then describes the incident as having been 'well resolved'? That not a word of sympathy passes his lips? Europe is in a bad way - and it is not only the declared xenophobes who are destroying its values.”

El País (ES) /

Climate change and hunger escalating crisis

Transnational agreements are needed to prevent further tragedies, El País demands:

“After the tense standoff with Morocco, the government has managed to restore bilateral relations. ... But it cannot ignore the way in which the agreement is fulfilled when there is evidence of serious human rights violations. ... The impact of climate change on harvests in many countries and the disruption of grain supplies due to the Ukraine war are putting millions of sub-Saharan Africans in a desperate situation that will undoubtedly increase migration flows to the north. ... Friday's tragedy must serve to trigger the creation of the necessary transnational mechanisms to prevent something like this from happening again.”