The number of African illegal immigrants trying to reach Spain has tumbled as the Spanish economy has slumped, Interior Ministry data showed last week. Almost 4,500 immigrants were detected trying to get into Spain by boat, mainly from West and North Africa, in the first seven months of the year, down 40 percent on the same period last year and about a quarter of the number recorded in 2006. In 2006, jobs on Spain's then-booming construction sites were plentiful. Now Africans who make it to the country often find themselves relying on tips in return for distributing newspapers meant to raise money for the homeless. (Reuters)

    About the author