The Greek government predicts the number of new migrant arrivals will rise next year and is preparing for as many as 100,000 asylum seekers.
Manos Logothetis, the government commissioner for the initial reception of refugees, made the prediction on Wednesday while speaking to media stating that “the crisis is current and it is serious”, German newspaper Die Welt reports.
Logothetis said the conservative Greek government was planning to deport around 10,000 migrants to Turkey in the next year and the government is also looking to expand the current migrant camps on several Greek islands which are currently very overcrowded.
More than 41,000 migrants currently live in the various camps, the highest amount since the European Union signed a migrant pact in 2016 with Turkey to halt the flow of asylum seekers.
Over 1,350 Migrants Arrive on Greek Islands in Single Weekend https://t.co/q7VkzM3cVk
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 20, 2019
So far this year, around 70,000 migrants have crossed from Turkey into the European Union, a 46 per cent increase from 2018 which saw 47,847.
The increase this year and the projected further increase in 2020 has cast doubt on the effectiveness of the Turkey-EU migrant pact in a confidential European Union report detailed earlier this week by Die Welt.
The report states that Greek coast guard have reported that their Turkish counterparts have refused to cooperate with them for several weeks and allowed migrant boats to cross into Greece.
The situation on has become increasingly tense as 41,000 migrants live in camps meant for just 8,530. Refugee workers on the island of Kos were even recently evacuated due to the rising levels of violence as food, clothing, and medications have become more and more scarce.
In order to ease pressure on the islands, Greece has transferred around 34,000 migrants to the mainland, which has led to protests from locals. Some stay in Greece, but the majority are said to push on to the Albanian border to attempt to meet with people smugglers and travel to Western Europe.
PM Mitsotakis Says Greece Will ‘Shut the Door’ to Illegal Immigration https://t.co/WbGJxGBHxO
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 23, 2019
The new Balkan route has become more active as a result, with hundreds of migrants travelling through Bosnia, attempting to cross the border into Croatia.
Earlier this month, the Bosnian government cleared the Vucjak camp located near the Croatian border and are said to have transferred as many as 800 migrants to facilities in Sarajevo.