The variety of migrants arriving in Greece has dropped considerably during the last two years, in keeping with the nation’s migration minister.
Talking at an occasion celebrating the launch of his ministry on Tuesday, Notis Mitarachi stated the migration insurance policies of Greece’s right-wing authorities have been behind the autumn, together with elevated border safety, quicker asylum procedures and a tightening of migration legal guidelines.
Greece has been extensively accused of expelling individuals as quickly as they attain Greek soil, with out permitting them to use for asylum, in a follow often called pushbacks.
Pushbacks are unlawful below worldwide legislation, with many migrants and rights teams claiming they usually contain excessive levels of violence and power — one thing Greece denies.
The variety of asylum-seekers residing within the southern European nation has additionally fallen, in keeping with Mitarachi.
He stated that Greece noticed the bottom variety of arrivals in a decade in 2021, placing the determine at below 9,000 individuals.
On the top of the Greek migration disaster, tons of of 1000’s of individuals arrived on Greek islands or crossed the land border with Turkey, in what was the most important inflow of refugees to Europe since World Battle Two.
The overwhelming majority of those individuals wished to move onward to wealthier European international locations, such UK, France and Germany.
“After the explosion within the interval 2015-2019, in 2021 we had the bottom flows of the last decade, 8,745, and steadily low in 2022 too” Mitarachi stated. “The result’s that as a substitute of 92,000 asylum seekers residing in 121 amenities, we’ve got right this moment 14,000 in 33 amenities.”
The UN’s refugee company has barely completely different figures, itemizing a complete of 9,157 arrivals in Greece in 2021, with roughly half coming from the ocean and the opposite half throughout land.
For 2022, the UNCHR workplace’s figures present a complete of 18,778 new arrivals in Greece: 12,756 by sea and 6,022 by land.
In 2015, Mitarachi stated, arrivals in Greece accounted for 75% of the whole variety of irregular arrivals within the European Union, whereas in 2022 that determine stood at simply 5%.
He added that Greece was additionally amending laws to draw staff by way of authorized migration for employment.
“The migration concern doesn’t finish. And it’s on the identical time a problem and a necessity. Our nation is implementing a strict however truthful migration coverage,” he stated.
“With an emphasis on migration with guidelines, standards, agreements, in accordance with our wants. However we stand firmly in opposition to smuggling rings and unlawful migration.”
Greece has been accused by rights teams of pushing migrants again throughout the big, fast-flowing river that separates the nation from Turkey.
Migrants have reportedly been left on small islands inside the river in appalling circumstances.
Greek officers strenuously deny this happens.