Jun 16, 2017

Europe in Africa

Ceuta and Melilla are fragments of Europe on north Africa's Mediterranean coast. They came under Spanish control about 500 years ago. Madrid says they are integral parts of Spain. On three sides they are surrounded by Morocco. For both, the currency used is the Euro.
Ceuta is an 18.5-square-kilometre (7.1 sq mi) Spanish autonomous city located on the north coast of Africa, separated by 14 kilometers from Cadiz province on the Spanish mainland by the Strait of Gibraltar and sharing a 6.4 kilometer land border in the Kingdom of Morocco. It lies along the boundary between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and is one of nine populated Spanish territories in Africa and, along with Melilla, one of two populated territories on mainland Africa. It was part of Cádiz province until 14 March 1995 when the city's Statute of Autonomy was passed.
Melilla is a Spanish autonomous city located on the north coast of Africa, sharing a border with Morocco with an area of 12.3 square kilometres (4.7 sq mi). Melilla is one of two permanently inhabited Spanish cities in mainland Africa. It was part of Málaga province until 14 March 1995 when the city's Statute of Autonomy was passed.

Melilla, like Ceuta, was a free port before Spain joined the European Union. As of 2011, it had a population of 78,476 made up of ethnic Spaniards, ethnic Riffian Berbers, and a small number of Sephardic Jews and Sindhi Hindus. Both Spanish and Riffian-Berber are the two most widely spoken languages, with Spanish as the only official language.

This year, migrants were attempting to reach Ceuta to get to the rest of Europe. Only two were successful, but both were injured scaling the six-metre (20 ft) surrounding fence and needed hospital treatment. The attempt comes after more than 400 migrants succeeded in breaching Ceuta's fence in December. Hundreds of sub-Saharan African migrants living illegally in Morocco try to enter Ceuta and Melilla each year in hope of getting to Europe.