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Barriers and barrios

— Melilla


Melilla, in Morocco, is one of two Spanish colonies left on the African continent. The enclave is a lure for illegal immigrants who try to cross the border here into Europe. But this is not the whole story; Monocle looks at Melilla’s multicultural make-up and how recent investment can improve the settlement’s fortunes.

Economics, Infrastructure, Multiculturalism, Religion

Spaniards can be absurdly patriotic. A North African taxi driver best expressed this notion on our trip to Melilla, one of Spain’s two autonomous cities on the Mediterranean coast of Morocco. Spain preserves Melilla’s independence and isolation with an 11km-long fence that encloses the city and keeps the sabre-rattlers and spear-chuckers from storming the fort, so to speak. Spain is anxious to prevent smuggling and human trafficking from the port of Melilla to the Iberian Peninsula – Moroccans were ­traditionally the largest immigrant population…


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