New migration route puts pressure on Athens

New migration route puts pressure on Athens

The Greek Island of Crete is struggling with an influx of migrants from Egypt, and is causing increasing concern for Athens, reports the Middle East Monitor plus agencies.

The number of irregular migrants arriving on the island of Gavdos, south of Crete, has reached 1,500 according to the Kathimerini newspaper, with 300 new arrivals between the 8th to the 10th of March.

Migration Minister, Dimitris Kairdis, told the newspaper, “Of course we are concerned. However, we will address the issue in cooperation with Europe”.

He stressed that the increased arrivals to Crete and Gavdos are through new migration routes, departing from Egypt and stopping on the way to the Libyan coast.

The article mentioned that the majority of migrants from the last three months are Egyptian men and a small percentage are from Bangladesh or Pakistan.

READ: Libya deports Egyptian migrants

Between January and February 2024, 12,573 migrants were detected in the region, while during the whole of 2023, the number of rescued refugees and migrants in the same area amounted to 666.

Struggling to handle the overflow of migrants, there has been no clear plan on how to manage the issue as of yet.

Regional Governor of Crete, Stavros Arnaoutakis, stated “We are waiting for the minister, and we will be in consultation so that we have the best possible result”. He added that the flow of irregular migrants would likely grow with improving weather.

Greek authorities in recent months have announced that the number of migrants arriving via the Aegean Sea and the northern Evros region significantly fell in recent months owing to the advancement of cooperation with Turkiye.

Middle East Monitor/ Agencies.


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