The Spanish government's decision to accept a boat carrying more than 600 migrants, a boat that was refused permission to dock by both Italy and Malta, has backfired on a group of students in the city of Alicante, who have been asked to leave their dorms within 24 hours to make room for the refugees. According to RT, Pedro Sanchez, Spain’s newly appointed socialist prime minister who replaced Mariano Rajoy following a no-confidence vote earlier this month, agreed to shelter the passengers of the Aquarius, a group of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa who were rescued from rickety vessels in the Mediterranean by the ship. After declaring that "the good times for illegals are over", Italy’s newly installed anti-immigration government blocked the ship and urged its neighbor, Malta, to accept the migrants. Malta also declined, prompting Spain and its new left-wing government to intervene.
Now, several hundred students, who are paying 750 euros a month to live in the La Florida dormitory in Alicante, must leave to make room for children aged 12 to 17 who are being brought to the dormitory via bus following the ship's arrival in Spain on Sunday. The authorities explained that the eviction was necessary given the "emergency situation" caused by the migrants' arrival.
One students' mother told local media that the students were asked to leave because the incoming refugees would have "many diseases" and possibly pose a "health risk." And while students said they're "not against helping those in need" they're worried about how they will finish their studies.
"We’re not against helping those in need, but it isn’t fair for my son to be removed from his residence and left on the street in the middle of his studies," one woman said, adding that her son needed to complete his course in German in order to qualify for a new job in that country.
The provisional government has assured inquiring media outlets that it will cover the students' expenses and find new temporary accommodations for them. We would advise the rest of Spain's college students to consider packing a "go-bag", because the Italian government over the weekend refused permission to dock to two Dutch-flagged ships carrying migrants, which are now sitting off the coast of Libya. That means more migrants could be on their way to Spain in the near future.