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Migration: Frontex, over 8 thousand migrants come to Europe in January. The figures of Italy, Greece, Spain and the Balkans. Rome replies

(Brussels) “In January, 8,300 illegal immigrants were detected along the four main migratory routes to the EU, 7% less than one year ago”. A notice issued by Frontex today takes stock of how many migrants have arrived since last month in the Central, Western, Eastern Mediterranean and in the Western Balkans. The section about Central Mediterranean says: “The number of migrants arrived in Italy through the Central Mediterranean route in January has increased to over 4,800, twice as many as last month’s” (December 2017), “when trafficking had been affected by fights near the departure areas and by bad weather”. From Rome, the Interior Ministry immediately replied, however, that 9,400 migrants, twice as many, actually arrived in January 2017. “According to interim figures, Eritreans have been the largest group of migrants detected on this route, followed – Frontex explains – by citizens from Pakistan and Tunisia”. In the last few months, Frontex also noticed a rise in the number of Libyans moving through the Mediterranean routes. Spain (Western Mediterranean) “found the number of migrants slightly shrinking, though”, most of them coming from Guinea, Morocco, Ivory Coast and Mali. And then: “In January, the number of illegal migrants sailing through the Eastern Mediterranean route, mainly bound for the Greek islands, decreased by 43% from the previous month, to 1,850”. The largest groups were Syrians and Iraqis. 300 migrants arrived through the Western Balkan route.

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