Spain may overtake Greece this year in numbers of migrants arriving clandestinely by sea, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says.

So far in 2017, 8,385 people have reached the country by sea, more than triple the number seen at the same time in 2016. Greece has had 11,713 people.

The shift may be because migrants are finding the Spanish route safer.

Meanwhile, 10 men from sub-Saharan Africa were rescued off the coast of Spain.

The coastguard said they were on a rickety boat off the southern town of Tarifa, in Cádiz province, where a boat full of migrants landed at a popular tourist beach on Wednesday, stunning tourists.

Despite seeing an increase in arrivals, Spain is still far behind Italy, which has received 96,861 until 9 August, according to the IOM.

“We assume that some of the change is due to the fact that the route [to Spain] is considered a safe route up to the coast through Morocco,” Joel Millman, a senior IOM spokesman, was quoted by AFP news agency as saying.

Many of those opting for the longer route are from west African countries including Senegal, Gambia, Guinea and Ivory Coast.

 

BBC

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