🇪🇸 Melilla is an autonomous city of Spain located on the north-west coast of Africa, sharing a border with Morocco. It has an area of 12.3 km² (4.7 sq mi). It is one of two Spanish autonomous cities in mainland Africa. Melilla is one of the special territories of the European Union (EU). Movements to and from the rest of the EU and Melilla are subject to specific rules, provided for inter alia in the Accession Agreement of Spain to the Schengen Convention.
The population is chiefly divided between people of Iberian and Riffian extraction. There is also a small number of Sephardic Jews and Sindhi Hindus. Regarding sociolinguistics, Melilla features a diglossia between the official Spanish (strong language) and Tamazight (weak language). Melilla, like Ceuta and Spain's other territories in Africa, is subject to an irredentist claim by Morocco.
Economy The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the autonomous community was 1.6 billion euros in 2018, accounting for 0.1% of Spanish economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 19,900 euros or 66% of the EU27 average in the same year. Melilla was the NUTS2 region with the lowest GDP per capita in Spain. Melilla does not participate into the European Union Customs Union (EUCU). There is no VAT (IVA) tax, but a local reduced-rate tax called IPSI. Preserving the status of free port, imports are free of tariffs and the only tax concerning them is the IPSI. Exports to the Customs Union (including Peninsular Spain) are however subject to the correspondent customs tariff and are taxed with the correspondent VAT. There are some special manufacturing taxes regarding electricity and transport, as well as complementary charges on tobacco and oil and fuel products.
The principal industry is fishing. Cross-border commerce (legal or smuggled) and Spanish and European grants and wages are the other income sources. Melilla is regularly connected to the Iberian peninsula by air and sea traffic and is also economically connected to Morocco: most of its fruit and vegetables are imported across the border. Moroccans in the city's hinterland are attracted to it: 36,000 Moroccans cross the border daily to work, shop or trade goods. The port of Melilla offers several daily connections to Almería and Málaga. Melilla Airport offers daily flights to Almería, Málaga and Madrid. Spanish operators Air Europa and Iberia operate in Melilla's airport. Many people travelling between Europe and Morocco use the ferry links to Melilla, both for passengers and for freight. Because of this, the port and related companies form an important economic driver for the city.
Melilla has a population of over 86,487 people.
Twin Towns – Sister Cities Melilla is twinned with: 🇻🇪 Caracas, Venezuela; 🇵🇭 Cavite City, Philippines; 🇪🇸 Ceuta, Spain; 🇪🇸 Toledo, Spain; 🇪🇸 Málaga, Spain; 🇺🇾 Montevideo, Uruguay; 🇪🇸 Motril, Spain; 🇪🇸 Almería, Spain; 🇮🇹 Mantua, Italy; 🇪🇸 Vélez-Málaga, Spain; 🇪🇸 Antequera, Spain.