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Τετάρτη, 22 Οκτωβρίου 2014

[EN] MORE REFUGEES ENTER GREECE BY SEA

GBTIMES GREECE


The newly-built fence in Evros directs the flow of refugees and migrants to the eastern sea border of Greece. (Source: Nikos Koutoulas, Flickr)



The newly-built fence in Evros directs the flow of refugees and migrants to the eastern sea border of Greece. (Source: Nikos Koutoulas, Flickr
The number of refugees and undocumented migrants who enter Greece through its eastern sea borders has skyrocketed over the past year, reports the Greek Office of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and calls for immediate assistance by the EU.
By the end of August, 22,089 people had entered the country through the eastern Aegean Sea this year, marking a dramatic increase of 223.22% compared to 2013. The situation is expected to aggravate even further, with 8,000 people having crossed the border in September alone.

The Greek department of the UNHCR yesterday proposed a plan for the management of the refugee influx, and gave a report of the current situation in collaboration with humanitarian organizations and authorities.
The growing traffic in the Aegean can be explained by the construction of the Evros fence on the northern Greek-Turkish border, which has shifted migrants’ routes to the sea.
Incomers hail chiefly from Syria, accounting for 65% of total arrivals, but most of them want to move on to Northern Europe, so asylum requests in Greece have remained level.
Panagiotis Nikas of the First Reception Service of the Ministry of Civil Protection says that this disparity is causing a serious problem. The EU is funding the creation of reception infrastructure based only on the numbers of asylum requests and not on the true numbers of incoming people, transposing the heavy load of migrant management to individual countries. However, Mr Nikas praised the commitment and selfless help they have received from the local societies of the eastern Aegean islands.

Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 12:57