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Ciudad Autónoma de Melilla
 - total
20 km²
 - Total (2003)
 - Density

 - English
 - Spanish

Statute of Autonomy March 14, 1995
ISO 3166-2:ES ES-ML

 Congress seats
 Senate seats
President Juan José Imbroda Ortíz (PP)
Ciudad Autónoma de Melilla

Melilla, known in Arabic as مليلة, and in Tamazight as Tamlit is a Spanish autonomous city on the coast of eastern Morocco, in North Africa. Administered as part of Málaga province prior to the March 14, 1995 Statute of Autonomy, it is a free port; the principal industry is fishing. Cross-border commerce (legal or smuggled) and Spanish and European grants and wages are the other income sources. In 1994 it had a population of 63,670.

Melilla was on the frontier of the Kingdom of Tremecén and the Kingdom of Fez when Spain conquered it in 1497.

Morocco has always claimed Melilla, along with Ceuta and some small Spanish islands by the African shore (Plazas de Soberanía), drawing comparisons with Spain's territorial claim to Gibraltar. The Spanish government rejects these comparisons, on the grounds that both Ceuta and Melilla are integral parts of the Spanish state, whereas Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, is not and never has been part of the United Kingdom.

There is considerable pressure by African refugees to enter Melilla, a part of the European Union. The border is secured by a three-meter-tall double fence and watch towers, yet refugees regularly manage to cross it illegally.

ISO 3166-1 reserves EA for Melilla and Ceuta.

See also: Ceuta, Isla Perejil

Last updated: 02-05-2005 05:30:40
Last updated: 03-18-2005 11:16:12