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Latest migrants in the Canaries put into empty holiday bungalows

The Red Cross tents at Arguineguin port were full this week.
The Red Cross tents at Arguineguin port were full this week. / EP
  • Local MPs demanded the government open up more accommodation and slammed Madrid for not coming to the aid of authorities unable to deal with the latest wave of migrants arriving in boats from Morocco

There were calls for the national Interior minister to resign this week after chaotic scenes in Gran Canaria, where authorities were unable to deal with the latest wave of migrants arriving in boats from Morocco.

Faced with double the amount this year compared to last, officials and voluntary workers on the Canaries have been struggling to cope. Earlier this week, 2,000 people were gathered in tents on the Red Cross's quayside reception area in the port of Arguineguin, which had reached capacity.

As government processing centres for migrants are full and the authorities cannot hold a person more than 72 hours, 227 were told they were free to go.

Pictures of migrants with no accommodation or food protesting in the centre of the Gran Canarian capital Las Palmas caused angry scenes in parliament.

Local MPs demanded the government open up more accommodation and slammed Madrid for not coming to the aid of the Canary Islands' authorities.

Eventually, 139 of the migrants, all young men, were transferred to an empty holiday bungalow complex in the beach resort of Maspalomas.

Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said he would travel to Morocco to step up the fight against the "mafias" illegally transporting the migrants.