The reopening of the borders of Ceuta and Melilla will be on May 17, after two years of closure

The Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, has announced that the reopening of the borders of Ceuta and Melilla will take place next Tuesday, May 17.

The reopening of the borders of Ceuta and Melilla will be on May 17, after two years of closure

The Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, has announced that the reopening of the borders of Ceuta and Melilla will take place next Tuesday, May 17. Precisely on that day, one year has passed since the diplomatic crisis between Spain and Morocco reached its highest level of tension with the arrival of more than 10,000 immigrants in Ceuta due to the permissiveness of the Moroccan police.

The Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, will sign this week the ministerial border order that will modify the one that has kept these crossings closed since March 2020. Initially, due to the crisis derived from the coronavirus —which has hit the economy of the neighboring country—and later with the disagreements between Madrid and Rabat.

This announcement is part of the new relationship sealed between the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and the King of Morocco, Mohamed IV, in exchange for Spain recognizing —in a complete turnaround— the autonomy plan for Western Sahara that he proposed the Alawite kingdom in 2007.

Following that roadmap agreed between Spain and Morocco, the land borders of Ceuta and Melilla will be reopened at 00:00 on May 17, that is, at midnight between Monday and Tuesday of next week. It will be a month before Operation Crossing the Strait begins, which is scheduled to start on June 15.

As for the border crossings, as reported by the Minister of the Interior, at first the steps of El Tarajal, in Ceuta, and Beni Enzar, in Melilla, will be opened, from where citizens and residents of the European Union and those persons authorized to circulate in the Schengen area.

In both categories, to access Ceuta and Melilla it will be essential to meet the health requirements established by the Ministry of Health for these land-based posts.

It will not be until May 31 until legally recognized cross-border workers can enter Spanish territory, as specified by the department led by Marlaska.

Within this gradual process, the Spanish-Moroccan working groups will determine the following categories of people and goods that will be able to access Ceuta and Melilla through the border with Morocco.


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