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Migrants who were transferred to Churriana on Tuesday. Salvador Salas
Malaga reception centre starts housing migrants despite objections from local residents
Immigration

Malaga reception centre starts housing migrants despite objections from local residents

Arriving from African countries on the coast of Spain's Canary Islands, they are being housed temporarily in Churriana until their application for international protection is resolved

Jesús Hinojosa

Malaga

Wednesday, 5 June 2024, 15:26

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The former residence of the nuns of La Asunción on the El Olivar housing estate in Churriana, near Malaga started operating this week on Tuesday 4 June as a centre for migrants run by the Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid (CEAR). The solidarity organisation has carried out the transfer of almost a hundred people by bus of the people who had been housed in the facilities of the Unamuno school in Miraflores del Palo since November last year. These are migrants from African countries who arrived on the coast of the Canary Islands and who are temporarily in Malaga until their application for international protection is resolved.

CEAR told SUR the stay of this reception centre in the former nuns' residence in Churriana will be temporary, until 31 July, which is when the emergency situation declared by Spain's ministry of migration to receive immigrants from the Canary Islands initially expires. "If this reception period were to be extended in time, it would not be in this location," the organisation said.

As SUR has been reporting since 24 April, the arrival of this CEAR reception centre in Churriana, following the termination of their agreement to occupy the facilities annexed to the Unamuno school, sparked anger among residents of the El Olivar housing estate and other areas in the surrounding area. They wrote to the local town hall and then government sub-delegation to express their disappointment with the use of the building for this purpose, considering that neither the building nor the area meet the conditions for the stay of migrants.

Building that has begun to function as a CEAR reception centre.
Building that has begun to function as a CEAR reception centre. Salvador Salas

As a result of the local residents' complaints, the municipal urban planning department opened an infringement case against the works to refurbish the former residence of the nuns on detecting that some of the works carried out were not covered by the declaration of responsibility that was presented for the refurbishment. However, the town hall considered the work could be legalised if a new declaration was presented. Municipal sources consulted by SUR have not clarified whether the works have now been fully regularised.

The adaptation of this building for CEAR's reception centre has been carried out by Student Rental Malaga, which has rented the building from the nuns of La Asunción. Behind this company is Alberto Benito, dean of the consular corps in Malaga and also a director of the foundation of the Colegio Unamuno.

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