Migration
Politics 26/08/2021

Sánchez and the president of Ceuta agree to again try to return minors to Morocco

The president of the autonomous city affirms that the procedure will be in line with what the justice system requires

2 min
The president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, and the president of Ceuta, Juan Jesús Vivas, to the Moncloa

MadridThe goal is to return the minors to Morocco. This is the main conclusion reached by the president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, and the president of Ceuta, Juan Jesús Vivas, in the meeting they held this Wednesday at the Moncloa to address the situation, the day after the justice system ratified the suspension of the returns. The commitment of the Spanish government is that it will activate "resources and capacities" to achieve the assisted return to Morocco of the minors who crossed to Ceuta in the diplomatic crisis in May, and that the two administrations will try the procedure again, adapting to what the judge has required. The required procedures have not been followed, the justice has ruled.

"The transfer to the Peninsula has not been raised as an option", said Vivas at a press conference, and argued that the return to Morocco is what most benefits those affected. The organisations that have opened the legal battle did bet for a reception throughout the country and offered them a more dignified stay than the one they had these days in the autonomous city. A situation that was "unsustainable" and "precarious", defined the president of Ceuta, who explained that the available resources are designed for a "temporary and not permanent" stay.

Vivas has admitted that the judicial pronouncement "gives clues" of how to proceed: to comply with the regulations of the law on foreigners. One of the requirements provided for in the regulations is the intervention of the Prosecutor's Office for Minors when drawing up individualised files, a fact that had not happened. The State Attorney defended the position of the state executive arguing that the situation in Ceuta was "exceptional" and Vivas explained that they understood that the application of the agreement between Spain and Morocco in 2007 was an "alternative way" to the immigration law. Justice has determined, however, that activating this bilateral pact does not exclude that the procedural regulations must be complied with.

Shared responsibility

The conflict over Ceuta has placed the Home Affairs Minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, in the spotlight as a result of the virulence of the Spanish right - especially by Cs, which for days has been calling for his resignation. At first Pablo Casado appeased, aware that the operation had been coordinated with the government of Ceuta, of the PP, but this Wednesday morning, upon learning of the judicial resolution, their spokeswoman in Parliament, Cuca Gamarra, has also asked for the minister's dismissal. Unaware of the dynamics of Spanish politics, Vivas has had no problem in assuming his share of the blame. "It would not be fair to attribute responsibility to the Minister of Home Affairs and the Delegation of the government, because I was in agreement", he acknowledged.

The Ceuta president has not wanted to polemicise with the leader of his party, but neither with Marlaska, who on Wednesday still insisted that Home Affairs had no powers in the return of minors. Vivas has asserted that the Spanish government had them to activate the treaty with Morocco. The National High Court is investigating the case and in the first order issued denied that the ministry had no responsibility and reproached it for having tried to dodge them by sending an unsigned letter to Ceuta in which it ordered the returns to begin.

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