Sunday, 05 December 2021 02:32 GMT

Frontex: Illegal migrant flow to Europe drops by 60 pct

(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) BRUSSELS, Jan 5 (KUNA) -- In 2017, the number of detections of illegal border-crossings into the European Union dropped for the second year in a row due to lower number of migrants reaching Italy and Greece, the EU border agency Frontext reported Friday.

There were some 204,300 illegal border-crossings in 2017, 60 percent fewer than the previous year, it noted in a press release.

Meanwhile, Spain saw the number of irregular migrants detected at its Western Mediterranean borders more than double to the highest level since 2009. The number of migrants detected reaching Spain from northern Africa hit a new record high of nearly 22,900. This was more than double the previous record set in 2016.

The sudden plunge in the number of irregular migrants reaching Italy in mid-2017 was the most significant development at the external borders of the EU since the implementation of the EU-Turkey migration deal in March 2016, it said.

In all of 2017, there were some 41,700 detections of illegal border-crossings at EU's external border with Turkey, both at sea and land borders, less than a quarter of the total in 2016.

Syrians and Iraqis remained the top two nationalities arriving in Greece last year on the Eastern Mediterranean route. (end)


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