Aegean migrant arrivals jump in July


The number of undocumented migrants arriving on the islands of the Aegean from Turkey last month reached 5,608, the highest monthly figure yet this year, according to official figures released on Tuesday.

The 5,608 migrants reached Greece from neighboring Turkey aboard 208 boats, while 19 suspected traffickers were arrested.

Overall, arrivals on the islands of the eastern Aegean exceeded 20,000 this year. Specifically, there were 2,075 in January, 1,536 in February, 2,106 in March, 2,050 in April, 2,897 in May and 3,855 in June, before the figure spiked to 5,608 in July.

The new arrivals have put additional pressure on reception centers on the islands which are already overcrowded, particularly on Samos, where 492 people arrived in the week beginning August 18 alone.

More than 4,400 undocumented migrants are living in and around the island’s reception center, which was designed to accommodate 700 people.