Greece key hub for migrants heading to EU, Europol says


Although the flow of undocumented migrants into the European Union dropped last year, Greece remained a key hub for the “secondary movement” of migrants along the so-called Balkan route to Central and Northern Europe, Europol’s annual report on migrant smuggling has found. 

According to the report these illegal movements are a “major challenge for EU law enforcement agencies.” As human smugglers continue to favor land routes, migrants are often hidden in vehicles, the report noted, adding that the “reckless and dangerous behavior” of traffickers trying to avoid detection sometimes results in tragedy. It referred to the death of 11 migrants on the Egnatia Highway last October. 

Europol also underlined a “steadily increasing trend” of migrants trying to travel from Greece to other European countries by air, “thus circumventing the perilous journey along the Balkan routes.”