More than 400 migrants have made the perilous journey to the Spanish coast on dozens of boats over a 24 period in an effort to escape the political and economic uncertainty in a number of African states.
A number of videos of young people on board boats sailing from Algeria to Spain have been circulated on Algerian Facebook pages.
In one of the videos, young men were singing when they saw the Spanish coasts. They named their original towns and said they have finally fulfilled their dream.
The Spanish newspaper El Pais claimed that 31 boats arrived in the region of Murcia, carrying 418 illegal immigrants, while 12 boats carrying 79 people landed in Alicante, in 24 hours, between Friday and Saturday.
The local television station Channel 7 in Murcia said that many of those immigrants came from Algeria, including women and children, according to Al-Quds Al-Arabi.
The Spanish newspaper Faridad stated that this is the most intense wave of illegal immigration to hit Spain and estimated the number to reach 454 illegal immigrants who arrived in Spain within 24 hours. They were kept by the Spanish authorities and underwent a medical examination. Seven were found to be infected with coronavirus and were kept in a shelter near the port of Escomoeiras.
Algeria relies heavily on oil and gas exports, which have been hit by the global coronavirus pandemic. Even before the virus, declining oil and gas revenues had hobbled the government’s ability to create jobs and to spend on services. Unemployment hit 11.5 per cent last year, according to World Bank figures.