Melilla (-esmeˈliʎa) is a 12.3 km2 (12300000 m2) autonomous city of Spain and an exclave on the north coast of Morocco. Melilla, along with the Spanish exclave Ceuta, is one of the two Spanish territories located in mainland Africa. It was regarded as a part of Málaga province prior to 14 March 1995, when the city's Statute of Autonomy was passed.
Melilla (like Ceuta) was a free port before Spain joined the European Union. As of 2008 it has a population of 73,460. Its population consists of Christians, Muslims (chiefly Riffians), and small minorities of Jews. Both Spanish and Tarifit are widely spoken. Spanish is the only official language, while there have been calls to recognise Tamazight, a standarized version of all Berber languages official in Morocco, as well.
Morocco had previously called for negotiations on the future of Melilla, Ceuta and a number of Mediterranean islands which border it. The majority of the city's population are ethnic Spanish who are opposed to the idea of being ruled by Morocco. A poll conducted by Instituto Opina found that 87.9% of people from mainland Spain consider the two cities to be Spanish.