Postcard from... Melilla, Spain
It is mid morning in Melilla, and residents are enjoying their coffee and churros in a small café in the city centre. Nobody is paying attention to a muted television set in the corner, which is running a report about the spat between Madrid and London over Gibraltar.
But in many ways Melilla is exactly the same as that lump of British rock on the southern coast of Spain – even though local residents don’t like to think so.
Melilla is a 20-kilometre square patch of Spanish territory surrounded by Morocco on the North African coast. A similar Spanish enclave, Ceuta, sits a few hundred kilometres to the west. The Spanish government argues the situation is different from Gibraltar because Melilla and Ceuta existed as part of Spain long before the birth of the modern Moroccan state.
Although Morocco does claim both territories as their own, tensions over ownership of Melilla and Ceuta do not flare up too often. It is a 12km fence separating Africa and Europe which causes more problems. Every month dozens of migrants risk their lives and try to storm the heavily-guarded barrier in Melilla to get into the European Union. But a tourist could probably visit for a short time and never know about the human drama unfolding a few miles away. Although tourist leaflets promote Melilla as a melting pot of cultures, it is – like Gibraltar – wedded to the traditions of its parent country. And like the Gibraltar residents enjoying fish and chips on the Mediterranean coast, it is plates of tapas, not tagine.
- 1 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 2 Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
- 3 Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Kenya bus attack: Al-Shabaab militants slaughter 28 non-Muslims who failed to recite Koran
That Sugar Film director Damon Gameua receives shocking diagnosis after going on healthy sugar diet for just 60 days
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...
£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...