Spanish authorities say 210 people have been rescued in the Strait of Gibraltar, as more migrants take advantage of fair weather in the western Mediterranean to make the risky crossing by boat from North Africa to Spain.
Those rescued Monday come in addition to the more than 800 migrants rescued in the previous two days after the winds dropped and the sea calmed. Even so, the Strait is a busy shipping lane with treacherous currents.
Spain’s Maritime Rescue Service says it pulled 155 people from eight different small boats crossing the Strait. The Spanish Civil Guard said it rescued 55 others.
The summer wave of migrants has caused divisions between European Union governments, even as it represents a significant drop in the number of migrants who arrived a year ago. Italy’s new government has vowed to deport tens of thousands of migrants while Spain’s new center-left government is urging more cooperation on helping migrants and the nations they land in.
The provocative street artist Banksy is believed to have taken his message on migration to Paris.
Seven works attributed to the graffiti artist have been discovered in recent days, including one near a former center for migrants at the city’s northern edge, according to the art website Artistikrezo.
Nicolas Laugero Lasserre, the site’s editor, said he heard a few weeks ago through contacts in the French street art world that Bansky was planning a trip. Laugero Lasserre said the first work was found Wednesday that of a child spraypainting wallpaper over a swastika. He said the wallpaper stencil was used in a 2009 exposition at the Bristol Museum, describing it as “a real signature.”
Bansky’s publicist did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is urging EU member countries to put more money into an Africa trust fund as the bloc looks to set up migrant screening centers outside Europe.
Mogherini said Monday that the fund “has proven to be useful, it has brought results and this is why we are asking for more money from member states.”
EU leaders are set later this week to greenlight plans to screen migrants for eligibility as asylum-seekers at centers in countries including Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Niger and Tunisia.
The plans mirror a deal that the EU clinched with Turkey in 2015 aimed at encouraging Ankara to stop refugees setting out for the Greek islands. That deal has cost more than 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion).—AFP