MADRID (Dispatches) - Spain’s defense minister has accused Morocco of “blackmail” over its passivity in the face of a surge in refugee arrivals in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta.
The rush of refugees began on Monday when Morocco appeared to loosen border controls, a move widely interpreted, including by the Spanish opposition, as retaliation for Spain’s hosting of a Western Sahara independence leader. The Spanish government, however, has sought to keep the two issues separate.
Defense Minister Margarita Robles said that by creating the conditions for thousands of refugess to swim into Ceuta or climb over fences into the enclave, Morocco had endangered lives “for a purpose I certainly don’t understand”.
“We will not accept any blackmail, no matter how small, or any questioning of our territorial integrity,” she told the radio station RNE.