Europe’s border agency expects a further increase in arrivals of illegal migrants to Spain by sea this year after numbers more than doubled in 2017, with the flows boosted by the use of fast boats, its director said on Friday.

Some 22,900 people were detected as they reached Spain via Morocco or Algeria last year, up from 10,231 in 2016, a steep increase that is boosted by migration from these two northern African countries.

Frontex border agency director Fabrice Leggeri said that while arrivals in Italy and Greece via Libya have dropped, total numbers using those routes remain above those to Spain and there are no signs of any major shift.

“Economic migrants don’t want to end up in a country (Libya) where there are clashes between armed groups … there are individual cases considering finding an alternative route,” Leggeri told Reuters.

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