ANTONIO López-Isturiz, a Eurodeputy for the Partido Popular (PP) has asked the European Commission in Brussels if it is going to take steps to prevent the arrival of illegal immigrants to the Balearics by sea. He also asked “if the Spanish government has asked the European agency Frontex for help, to collaborate in vigilance in the Mediterranean, to prevent the creation of a new route for illegal immigration between Africa and Europe.” In presenting his question, López-Isturiz pointed out that “since September last year, four small boats have arrived illegally in the Balearics.” He went on to say that “the Spanish government has not taken effective, urgent steps to halt the arrival of more boats to the Majorcan coast and prevent the Balearics being used as a new entry route to Europe for illegal immigrants.” In his opinion, “there is a risk that in a short time, we will see in the Balearics the same dramatic images we have seen in recent years in regions such as the Canary Islands or Andalucia.” López-Isturiz also claimed that the Spanish government “acted in an irresponsible manner a few years ago by approving the mass regularisation of immigrants.” He explained that this had had the effect of attracting more immigrants, and could have serious consequences for the Balearics. He added that ”the Balearic government feels that the central government should not wait until more boats arrive in the islands before it takes special measures, which would include increasing co-operation with Algeria.” Earlier this month Ramón Socías, the central government representative to the Balearics, said that land, maritime and air vigilance would be stepped up over the south coast of Majorca, to control the possible arrival of more boats of “irregular immigrants.” On April 30, 34 Algerian immigrants were arrested by the Guardia Civil shortly after they landed at Cala Mondragó, having left from the port of Delys, Algeria.

Two days later, they were flown to Barcelona, as there is no holding centre in the Balearics, and from there they were repatriated.
Socias said that if the immigrants thought that the Balearics could become a new gateway to Europe they were mistaken, because they would find the doors closed.