Migration and Struggle in Greece

Frontex: Fewer illegal migrants in 2009, 88pct arrived via Greece

Posted by clandestina on 23 June 2010

ANA-MPA/All indicators concerning illegal immigration into the European Union were lower in 2009 compared with 2008, according to figures cited on Wednesday by the EU border agency Frontex in Athens. It said arrests for illegal entry at EU sea and land borders had dropped 33 percent.

Frontex Deputy Executive Director Gil Arias-Fernandez noted, however, that 88 percent of illegal immigrants – almost nine in 10 – that entered the EU in 2009 had come via Greece, up from 75 percent in 2008. While this increase did not reflect a rise in the numbers arriving, it showed that a greater percentage migrants unable to enter the EU using other routes were attempting entry via Greece, he said.

The numbers for Greece showed 14,000 arrests at the land border between Greece and Turkey in 2008, dropping to 10,000 in 2009. Along the sea border between Greece and Turkey, there were 56,000 arrests of illegal migrants in 2008, dropping to 49,000 in 2009.Ana-Mpa

During the first third of 2010, EU authorities arrested 3,500 illegal migrants at land borders and 2,900 at sea, indicating a shift in patterns of entry from the sea to the land borders. This shift was also reflected in figures unveiled by the Greek citizens’ protection ministry last week, showing a 50 percent decline in arrests of migrants in the northern Aegean and and 65 percent decline in the southern Aegean. By contrast, arrests on land borders in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace increased by 167 percent (from 2,416 to 6,459). In Epirus, arrests went up from 5,616 in the first third of 2009 to 7,889 in 2010.

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