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Flotilla of patrol boats off Spain forms first joint guard of Europe's frontiers

Patrol boats from Spain, Britain, France, Portugal and Italy launched Europe’s first joint maritime surveillance scheme against illegal immigrants yesterday, in an operation hailed by Spain as a prototype for a future European border police. The pilot project, called Operation Ulysses, is to monitor the western Mediterranean from Algeciras in southern Spain to Palermo in Sicily. Spain’s Interior Minister, Angel Acebes, hailed the initiative as “planting the seeds of a future EU border police”. Speaking in Palma, Majorca, Mr Acebes said: “If this system of co-operation among patrol boats and radar controls is satisfactory it could form the pillar of a border police force in the European Union. It is the common responsibility of the EU to protect our frontiers.” Full Story

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