Major drop in migrant flows, asylum seekers

Major drop in migrant flows, asylum seekers

There has been a significant – and what appears to be permanent – decrease in migration flows into Greece and in the number of resident asylum seekers, according to the most recent data from the Migration and Asylum Ministry. The figures also reinforce the argument of islanders and their representatives who insist that the planned construction of large reception and hospitality structures may prove unnecessary.

More specifically, flows in the first five months of 2021 to the islands and through the Evros land border region have been reduced by 68% compared to the same period last year. In particular, 2,891 arrivals were recorded on the Aegean islands and at the Evros outpost, while arrivals had reached 9,421 in the same period in 2020.

In tandem with this trend, the number of those who remain at reception and identification centers on the islands is decreasing, as the reduced number of arrivals is facilitating the management of the existing population.

The total number of guests (asylum seekers and refugees) in government structures (structures managed or supervised by the Migration Ministry) in May this year was 53,705, while the number of residents in the same month last year reached 92,463.

Estimates indicate that within a year 38,758 asylum seekers left accommodation structures as they most likely received a refugee profile. Besides, ministry data also indicate that there are 66,659 pending applications, when in May 2020 the Asylum Service was facing 108,492 pending applications.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, a memorandum was signed for the restoration of the area where the Moria Reception and Identification Center on Lesvos operated.

The Ministry for the Aegean has been tasked with the elaboration of a study for the area’s restoration with the collaboration of the local municipality. The Migration Ministry will arrange for the financing.

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