Spain Saves over 500 People in the Mediterranean Sea

Category: Top Stories


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. refugee / ˌref·jʊˈdʒi / (n) – someone who moves to another country to escape conflict

    Many refugees are moving to Europe from Africa.

  2. flee / fli / (v) – to escape

    The family was forced to flee the dangerous city.

  3. seek refuge / sik ˈref·judʒ / (idiom) – to go to a place to get away from danger

    The homeless animals seek refuge in the abandoned house when it is raining.

  4. run out / rʌn ɑʊt / (phrasal) – to use something until nothing is left

    The local government is running out of budget because of the economic crisis.

  5. deport / dɪˈpɔrt / (v) – to force someone to leave a country

    The migrant was deported after he broke some laws.


Read the text below.

In just one weekend, Spanish authorities saved over 500 refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean sea on their way to Spain and other European countries.

Around 293 people aboard nine boats were rescued last May. The day after the said rescue, another 250 people were saved from eight boats. Some of the boats were in such a bad state that they sank after the refugees were pulled out. According to reports, the refugees were fleeing from their home countries in the North and sub-Saharan Africa region to escape poverty and conflict.

The authorities used planes and helicopters to conduct the search and rescue mission. They claimed that the refugees were confident to take the dangerous journey because of the Mediterranean Sea’s good weather.

This year alone, more than 4,000 people made it to Spain to seek refuge, but 217 died while crossing the sea. Frontex, Europe’s border control agency, expects that more refugees will come to Spain this year, especially now that some are using speed boats. Because of this, the Spanish government expressed concerns that it is running out of resources to support more refugees.

Italy, one of the top destinations for refugees in the European Union, is facing the same crisis. With 10,808 refugee arrivals this year, the country is desperate for a solution.

To address the refugee crisis, the Spanish government suggested providing more opportunities for refugees in their home countries to encourage them to stay there. It also proposed improving migration laws for ease of moving to another country. On the other hand, the Italian government recommended deporting most of the refugees in the country.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Which do you think is a better solution to the refugee crisis: Spain’s solution or Italy’s solution? Defend your answer.
• In your opinion, should the refugee crisis be treated as a global issue? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• Why is it important to encourage people to stay in their countries?
• How can a country’s government encourage people to stay (e.g. creating more jobs, decreasing conflict)?