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Ongoing Efforts To Exempt Algerians From Entry Visas To Melilla, Spain

May 17, 2021

The Spanish MP for the Popular Party, Emilio Guerra, who is also the vice president of the public company “Boecto Melilla” in Melilla, Spain, submitted a report to the Spanish government in Madrid, in order to move at maximum speed to implement the project of the creation of a sea line between Melilla and the port of Ghazaouet near Tlemcen, in the far western border of Algeria.

The Spanish Ports Authority is still advocating the success of this sea line that connects the port of Melilla and the port of Ghazaouet, outside the free zone of Shanghai, which is not subject to border control, where the Algerian traveler does not need to apply for a visa to enter Melilla, Spain.

“El Faro de Melilla” newspaper, which also supports this ambitious project, said that the Popular Party has leveraged a lot to transfer the file from the negotiating table to an official license and to embody it on the ground, after the Spanish Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs, last February, agreed to the new sea line.

This promising project is expected to have great impact on the economy of the city of Melilla, in light of the central Madrid government’s ongoing endeavor to diversify the economy of Ceuta and Melilla, especially the latter, as reported by the Spanish newspaper in Melilla, stressing that the project is old and its idea dates back to 2012, referring to the reason of not implementing it then due to opposition political circles at the time owing to immigration problems, adding that everyone in Melilla view this project positively, despite being held in abeyance for 9 years.

The Popular Party considered that time is now available to implement the vital project, in light of the approval of most of the sovereign ministries in Spain, by turning this projected maritime link into a reality.

Parties in Melilla, such as the “Popular Party”, “Podemos” with a left-wing orientation that holds ministerial portfolios in the Spanish government, the “Republican Party” and the Democratic Coordination in Melilla have multiplied their moves towards materializing this maritime link between Melilla and the Algerian port of Ghazaouet for several goals, including the development of economic relations between the two parties, by notably facilitating the entry of Algerian tourists without a visa to the Spanish city.

Mr. Eduardo de Castro (Ciudadanos), mayor of Melilla, told the newspaper “El Faro de Melilla”, in mid-March, that the project to establish a sea line with Ghazaouet, near Tlemcen, in Algeria, is ready and needs only a license from Madrid, indicating that the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha Gonzalez Laya agreed to the proposal for the creation of the new maritime link, pending evaluation of the proposal by the financial and customs bodies.

It should be noted that Algeria and Spain have great economic interests. The European country is a strong economic partner of Algeria. The exchanges between the two countries exceeded $ 8 billion annually, according to official reports.