Number of Migrants Arriving in Greece from Turkey up 200 per cent

The number of migrants arriving on the Greek islands from Turkey since this August is up 200 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Greek Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas described the spike as a “special phase” and explained that arrival rates had shot up from 87 people per day in July to 156 per day in August, and then 214 a day in September and October.

With around 4,000 people arriving on the islands in October alone, Mouzalas described the situation at the congested camps on Lesvos as “very bad” and on Chios as “bad”, Ekathimerini reports.

Mr. Mouzalas also said, “We would like to see more returns because that will restore the order of things,” after just 1,360 migrants have been returned since an EU deal with Turkey was activated.

Meanwhile, numbers have also been surging in Spain from Morocco but falling in Italy, The Times reports.

The number reaching Italy from Libya dropped by 70 per cent after the deal was struck to stem the flow and the Libyan coastguard was bolstered with funds and extra boats.

About 28,000 people have landed in Italy since July 31 compared with 89,000 people in the same period last year.

More than 110,000 people have made the journey from Libya to Italy in 2017, a third less than those that crossed during the same period in 2016.

Rome had pointed to the increased capacity of the Libyan coastguard, which has been trained by the Italians. They also sent new search and rescue vessels to help the Libyans intercept migrant boats.

However, it has been speculated that the sudden drop off in crossings is due to a deal Rome reportedly struck with the Libyan authorities and people-traffickers in June.

The number of migrants crossing into Spain from Morocco has tripled. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said that 14,000 arrivals have travelled from Morocco compared with just 5,445 in the same period last year.

Arrivals from Tunisia to Italy have also tripled. At least 1,400 migrants travelled from Tunisia to Italy in September, compared with the 1,200 who travelled that route during the whole of 2016, according to the IOM.


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