Madrid assigns two centres to host 200 migrants

But city of Tres Cantos refuses to host one of the structures

17 August, 20:03

    Migrants arrive at the port of Algeciras (Cadiz), Spain Migrants arrive at the port of Algeciras (Cadiz), Spain

    MADRID - The city of Madrid has assigned two new centres to host migrants, with a total of 200 places, to be managed by the Red Cross and the NGO Comissione Spagnola di Aiuto al Rifugiato (CEAR).

    The initiative aims to respond to the humanitarian emergency provoked by the wave of migrant boat landings on Spanish coasts, according to Madrid Mayor Manuela Camena.

    However, there is controversy over one of the structures, which is a 3,300-square-metre former boarding school in Valdes Palace, in the Spanish municipality of Tres Cantos. The city's deputy mayor, Javier Juarez, said it would be "impossible" to host the migrants, because the building is zoned for educational use, despite the fact that it has been in disuse for years.

    "We spoke this morning with the City of Madrid and told them it would be impossible to create the reception centre," Juarez said, cited by Europa Press.

    The plan announced by Carmena calls for starting the new centre already this month, with 100 places. A second structure, in the former pavilion of the Casa del Campo, in Madrid, with an additional 100 places, would open in October.

    Meanwhile, the City of Madrid has also assigned the NGOs a location in the Arganzuela district to be used as an initial reception centre for new arrivals.

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