Thursday 16.07.2020
MIGRATION

Sharp increase of refugees crossing into Europe in May

In May there were almost 4,300 unauthorized border crossings on Europe's main migration routes, almost three times as many as in April.
Migrants with face masks from the Moria camp in the port of Piraeus near Athens after their arrival. Photo: Angelos Tzortzinis/dpa.
Migrants with face masks from the Moria camp in the port of Piraeus near Athens after their arrival. Photo: Angelos Tzortzinis/dpa.

The number of refugees attempting to enter the European Union increased sharply in May, according to data from the European border agency Frontex.

In May there were almost 4,300 unauthorized border crossings on Europe's main migration routes, almost three times as many as in April.

In April the figures had fallen to a record low as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and were also slightly lower overall in the first five months of the year compared to last year.

Frontex registered a total of 31,600 illegal border crossings between January and May - six per cent fewer than the same period last year.

The route via Turkey and Greece was the most active migration route to Europe, Frontex said. From January to May, 12,700 cases were recorded, 28 per cent fewer than last year.

Mediterranean route

A further 3,700 refugees crossed the western Mediterranean, from Morocco to Spain in the first five months of the year, which was less than half the number registered in the same period last year.

On other routes, the figures from the first five months were higher than last year.

More than 6,900 illegal border crossings were recorded on the Western Balkans route, an increase of 50% over the same period last year.

On the route across the central Mediterranean, from Libya and Tunisia to Italy and Malta, Frontex recorded 5,500 cases which was almost three times as many as in the same period in 2019.

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