Report: Migrant Numbers Arriving in Europe Surge in 2018-19

MYTILENE, GREECE - OCTOBER 09: A general view of the Moria migrant camp which was built for 3,000 people but now contains over 13,000 on October 09, 2019 in Mytilene, Greece. Authorities have begun to relocate refugees and migrants from overcrowded island hotspots to facilities on the mainland in a …
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While concern grows over possible increased mass migration as a result of regional military power Turkey entering the Syrian conflict, Europe as already experienced a 10-per-cent increase in arrivals in the last year.

As of the 24th of September, around 487,000 asylum applications have been filed by migrants in the EU, Switzerland, and Norway over the previous 12 months, reports the German newspaper Die Welt. That number is 10-per-cent higher compared to the same period last year, according to the European Asylum Support Office.

The countries from which the largest number of migrants came to the European Union were Syria, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Iraq, Pakistan, Colombia, and Turkey. The countries absorbing the most asylum seekers were Germany, France, and Spain.

One of the countries hardest hit by the increased flow of migrants has been Greece. In September alone, more than 12,000 migrants came to the country, more than any other month in 2018 or 2019. Overall this year, 46,100 people have arrived in Greece, compared to 37,300 in the year before.

Last week, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed his frustration at the large numbers of migrants stopping in his country and not moving on to other EU nations, saying: “I will say this clearly: I will raise the issue of specific sanctions for European countries that refuse to take part in a fair distribution of refugees on a European level.”

By the end of September, more than 80,000 migrants have travelled across the Mediterranean by boat to Europe’s shores. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced that so far this year 1,041 people have either died or gone missing while attempting the journey.

Speaking to Die Welt, the chairman of the Berlin Christian Democratic Union party, Kai Wegner, said: “It is high time for a paradigm shift in the EU’s rescue policy based on the Australian no-tolerance principle.”

“This would mean bringing back all the people caught up in the Mediterranean without exception. This would reduce the incentives for crossings with non-oceangoing boats to zero and finally put an end to the deaths on the Mediterranean.”

The number of arrivals by boat is down from 102,000 last year. Under the leadership of Matteo Salvini, Italy saw the steepest decline in arrivals. Around 7,600 people reached Italian shores by boat this year, compared 21,000 the year before.

However, the number of migrants may surge further depending on the outcome of the conflict between Turkey and the Syrian Kurds. Last week, Turkish President Erdogan threatened to unleash 3.6 million refugees upon the Europe Union unless it submitted to his demands.

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