Migrant influx through Evros tripled last year, minister says


A total of 47,929 undocumented migrants traveled to Greece in 2018 and 6,558 left the country during the same period, Migration Minister Dimitris Vitsas told a press conference on Thursday, noting that the influx over the Greek-Turkish land border almost tripled.

The ministry’s priorities this year are to reduce inflows, more fairly distribute migrants across Europe and ease the burden on the Aegean islands, he said.

Currently there are more than 70,000 migrants and refugees in Greece, Vitsas said, noting that just over 11,000 are in reception centers on five eastern Aegean islands.

Of the 47,929 who arrived in Greece last year, 32,115 came by sea from Turkey while another 15,814 crossed the land border through Evros.

The increase in Aegean arrivals was 10 percent, compared with a huge rise of 284 percent in arrivals over the Greek-Turkish land border, he said.