Usually not very present on the international scene, the Spanish government has established itself as a major player in the Afghan refugee crisis. The best translation is to create a kind of “air corridor” for evacuation to the Torrejón de Ardós air base in Madrid, with a capacity of 8000 to 10,000 people. In mid-August, barely from his leave, the head of the socialist government, Pedro Sanchez, actually proposed this place as a landing point for Afghan citizens who had cooperated with the Western powers and, therefore, were threatened by the Taliban. In power in Kabul.
So far, thousands of people have reportedly been welcomed into the temporary Torrejon de Ardoz camp, which was opened a week ago by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. Among them, 1,600 members of the Spanish army and Afghan citizens have served in Madrid since 2002. The “Spanish Corridor”, from which these subjects are deployed in various EU countries, was especially useful to Washington: under an agreement signed on August 23 with Spain, the Reception of about 4,000 American soldiers at the US bases, located in Rota and Moron, in Andalusia. They are scheduled to stay there for two weeks before returning to their country or being assigned to other international missions.
Restoration of the Spanish coat of arms
After its disastrous management of the repatriation of around 700 Moroccan minors who are currently in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta – boycotted by the justice system due to the failure to respect legal protocols – Madrid has made sure to play an active and positive role in the Afghan crisis. And also to appear as a good representative with the new American administration with which the socialist government did not succeed in holding a meeting worthy of that name, except for a short conversation between Pedro Sanchez and Joe Biden during the NATO summit that did not fail. To provoke ridicule and mockery of the right-wing opposition.
“It is indisputable that Afghans collaborating with the West have been left at the mercy of the Taliban there”, Former ambassador to France Jose Manuel Alparis, Spain’s new foreign minister since a cabinet reshuffle in June, has insisted, in particular, the restoration of Spain’s image on the international scene. However, the reality on the ground does not fully speak in favor of this voluntary promise: according to the media Eldiario.es, one hundred former employees (doctors, engineers, administrators, drivers, etc.) of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, Aecid, left Badghis province to find themselves today in Kabul, without being able to board a plane, thus becoming easy prey for the new Taliban rulers. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is talking about Evacuation by alternative methods, But without specifying any of them.
supportive public opinion
However, domestically, the Spanish role in the evictions in Afghanistan served the interests of the socialist government. PP conservatives and far-right populists at Vox tend to criticize Pedro Sanchez on all fronts, and they have not failed to hurl insults at them. “improvisation” evictions. Mais hormis ces voix relativement isolées, les manœuvres logistiques et la gestion des demandses d’asile dans et autour du campement de l’aéroport de Torrejón de Ardoz ont été saluées par les Etats-Unis, les organizations’ internationales’ internationales ie et de l Public opinion. At the Spanish level, 759 Afghan nationals have already been distributed in 14 out of 17 regions of the country, where the reception capacity was immediately implemented satisfactorily.
Faced with a renewed right at the polls since Governor Isabel Diaz Ayuso’s re-election in May in the Madrid region, and a left weakened by the recent failure to repatriate Moroccan minors from Ceuta and the sudden increase in electricity bills, Pedro Sanchez hopes to take advantage of this “Afghan corridor” for revive it.