HomeSocietyOn both shores, Marhaba and OPE are preparing to welcome MREs

On both shores, Marhaba and OPE are preparing to welcome MREs

Operation Crossing the Strait (OPE) 2023 for Spain or Marhaba for Morocco will take place from June 15 to September 15. Preparations on both sides of the shore are well underway and it is hoped to exceed the figures for 2022 when nearly three million passengers (2,912,283) and nearly 700,000 vehicles (695,487) had crossed the Strait according to the Spanish authorities.

In the enclaves of Sebta and Melilla, it is said that everything is ready for the OPE to start in due time in good conditions. The Undersecretary of the Ministry of the Interior, Isabel Goicoechea, in collaboration with the Director General of Civil Protection and Emergencies, Leonardo Marcos, also chaired this Friday a first meeting of the State Committee for Coordination and management (CECOD) of the 2023 OPE.With this Special Plan OPE 2023, we have a general coordination framework and an active communication channel between the administrations to guarantee a fluid exchange of information and collaboration.“said Goicoechea.

The meeting, held at the headquarters of the General Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergencies, in Madrid, brought together, among others, representatives of the relevant government delegations, the Department of National Security, the General Directorate of traffic, the Civil Guard, the National Police, the State Ports, the General Directorate of Merchant Marine and the General Directorate of Public Health. Also participating were representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation and the National Meteorological Agency of the Ministry of Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.

This process of meetings is expected to continue next Wednesday when the Spanish-Moroccan Joint Commission meets in the Spanish capital. As in previous years, the OPE Specific Plan (PPO) 2023 will include a system comprising a fleet plan, provincial coordination plans, plans for each of the participating Ports, and road safety plans.

The operation will take place in two phases, that of the outward journey and that of the return. The PPO will specifically establish the critical days, those with the greatest influx of vehicles and passengers.
On the south shore, preparations are also well underway for Operation Marhaba, which handled a total of 3.2 million travelers and 558,000 vehicles in 2022, according to figures indicated by the Minister of Transport and Logistics, Mohammed Abdeljalil, last Tuesday before the House of Representatives.

It is Tanger Med, which recorded the largest influx of passengers with 59% of traffic, ie 1,352,322 passengers and 342,059 vehicles. Tanger-ville and Nador, which recorded respectively 21% and 19% of the total volume. If we stick to the minister, the Moroccan authorities within the framework of the Marhaba 2023 operation, are refining a plan which will focus on the provision of the fleet and the scheduling of trips, the strengthening of the offer and diversification of transit points, as well as compliance with international standards for maritime safety and security.

As such, we count on forecasts every week of nearly 538 sea crossings. 33 ferries from nine different companies will provide links between the ports of Spain, France and Italy and those of Morocco to bring the half-million passengers and 136,000 vehicles targeted to port.



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