THE Ministry of Interior has authorised the first transfer of migrants from Melilla to mainland Spain.

51 people from the Temporary Stay Centre for Immigrants (CETI) in Melilla have been allowed to be transferred across to the Iberian peninsula.

That however does little to alleviate the pressures and overcrowding the centre is facing, with over 1,600 migrants housed there, with the facility only equipped to accommodate 782.

This is the highest number of migrants the CETI has housed in the last five years.

Even before the lockdown, the centre’s capacity had never been below full capacity, highlighting the migration problem the autonomous city is faced with.

This is the first such transfer authorised by the Ministry since the state of emergency came into effect over a month ago.

“We will try to continue to transfer people”, said the Commissioner of the Policia Nacional, Jose Angel Gonzalez.

According to Ministry sources who spoke to El Pais, among the first set of migrants to be transferred will be mothers with children, along with the elderly and vulnerable.

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