Greece: Influx of illegal immigrants has risen sharply this year
The number of illegal immigrants arriving in Greece during the first quarter of 2015 has tripled compared to the same period last year. Agence France-Presse reports that the Greek Coast Guard announced the findings last Thursday.
While in 2014 the authorities recorded 2 863 illegal refugees arriving in Greece during the first three months of the year, this year they have registered 10 445 illegal refugees between January and the close of March. In March alone, 6 493 refugees got into the country by way of Greek islands located near the shore of Turkey.
Migrants from developing countries head to the West by traveling from Turkey through Greece in search of a better life. Most sailed to the island of Lesbos during the first quarter of 2015.
The islands of Chios, Leros and Samos rank after Lesbos with respect to frequency of illegal entry. Unlike the migrants who aim to travel a longer distance across the sea from Africa to Italy, people fleeing to Greece set out on smaller boats in which dozens of people are crammed together.
These vessels frequently have accidents or sink due to overcrowding. The Athens News Agency reported that the Greek Coast Guard saved an unusually large group of 200 refugees last Thursday on the isolated island of Gavdos, located approximately 50 kilometers south of Crete with a population of roughly 100.
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