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The wave has crashed onto the shore and subsided. What Spanish newspapers dub the marea - tide - or avalancha swept the Canary Islands in 2006, bringing rickety wooden fishing boats from what seemed a faraway West Africa. The cayucos and pateras, with their gaudy paintwork and sea-battered timber, carried a dishevelled human cargo that was likened to an invading army; a wild, inexplicable armada arriving at the southernmost margins of the European Union and the very heart of western leisure migration, the playas of Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Now the horizon is clear. The wave has receded, leaving in its wake sodden piles of newspaper clippings and a growing crop of novels and books - not to mention enriched and emboldened aid organisations, a strengthened European 'myth of invasion' (de Haas 2007) and a nascent new security system for the EU's external borders.

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31 - 49