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«Moroccans in the Canary Islands must return to their country», European Commissioner says

European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson. / DR
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Moroccan immigrants in an irregular situation in the Canary Islands are condemned to repatriation. And for good reason, «the majority of them are not refugees. They are not allowed to stay there. They must return to Morocco», insisted the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, in an interview with El Pais.

The Swedish politician, who had just visited Rabat last week with the European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi, welcomed cooperation with the kingdom. «It is a trusted partner» but this agreement seems to suffer from the vagaries of Covid-19, she added.

«This is a global pandemic, and it means that it is affecting people around the world and that many people are facing a new situation that is forcing or prompting them to take actions they would not have taken before», she explained.

Ylva Johansson also made a comparison between the agreements that the European Union concluded with Turkey, in 2016, and those with Morocco. «I believe that our agreement with Rabat is closer than the one we signed with Ankara. The EU pays Syrian refugees monthly and directly and funds teachers and health professionals. With Morocco, we directly support the Moroccan government and its budget», she added.

Between the two cases, the Home Affairs Commissioner believes that «the situation is different». «We do not support Turkey, we support Syrian refugees in Turkey because it is the country in the world that hosts the largest refugee community. With Morocco, it is another type of association in which we work together on migration management and border management», she declared.

«I was there last week to discuss how we can deepen our cooperation on migration management with Morocco», she concluded.

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