Donald Trump recommended the Spanish government another solution to solve the migrant crisis – to build the wall across the Sahara desert o avoid the flow of illegal migrants to Europe. As Guardian understood, the US leader is thought to have made his frontier recommendation when Borrell accompanied King Felipe and Queen Letizia to the White House in June.
Donald Trump tackled the Mediterranean migration crisis by emulating one of his most famous policies and building a wall across the Sahara desert, said the Spanish foreign minister. Mr Trump also brushed off the scepticism of Spanish diplomats regarding the wideness of the Sahara, saying: “The Sahara border can’t be bigger than our border with Mexico.”
In fact, the border between the US an Mexico is roughly 2,000 miles long, while the Sahara’s is 3,000 miles. The American fencing experience will not work with Spain that holds only two small enclaves in north Africa – Ceuta and Melilla – and such a wall would have to be built on foreign territory.
Foreign minister Borrell’s comments were made at a lunch event in Madrid this week and widely reported in the Spanish media.
“We can confirm that’s what the minister said, but we won’t be making any further comment on the minister’s remarks,”
said a spokesman for the foreign ministry.
Spain as the frontline of the EU migrant crisis
In 2018, more than 33,600 migrants and refugees arriving by sea, and 1,723 dying in the attempt to reach Spanish shores. This year, Spain is overtaking Italy and Greece as the main destination for migrants crossing the Mediterranean. But the high number of arrivals on Spain’s southern coast has strained reception facilities and infrastructure. The issue has also been used as a political weapon by rightwing parties who accuse PM’s government of double standards and of being too soft on immigration.
Borrell, a former president of the European Parliament, spoke at the event in Madrid this week. In particular, he said that Spain’s sorted the economic problem, but not the migration problem because it’s an emotional problem and not one you fix with money.
“European societies aren’t structured to absorb more than a certain percentage of migrants, especially if they are Muslims,”