An NGO rescue ship carrying 87 migrants docked in the Spanish port of Algeciras on Thursday amid protest from the city’s mayor that it did not have the resources to cope with the new arrivals.
José Ignacio Landaluce, the conservative mayor of the Andalusian city, said Madrid had neither consulted or even informed him of the arrival of the Open Arms, which had been turned away by Italy after rescue operations in the central Mediterranean.
Demanding that Pedro Sanchez, the prime minister, visit Algeciras to “see the reality” of the migration crisis, Mr Landaluce, of the opposition Popular Party, told radio station Onda Cero that local authorities had not received “even a dime” from the central government.
"The Spanish have big hearts, yes, but on this issue we have to use our heads because there is not enough money," said the mayor, who last month warned Algeciras could become "a new Lampedusa".
In July, Spain overtook Italy to become the largest European gateway for migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea, with 23,741 arriving on its shores so far this year – almost triple the same period in 2017 – according to the International Organisation for Migration.