Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Greece, Italy witness drop in refugee, migrant arrivals (IOM)

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday that a significant decrease in the number of refugees and migrants reaching Greek soil over the weekend had been observed, with only 155 people arriving to the Greek islands by sea on Sunday.

According to IOM, 79 people arrived in Kalymnos, 44 in Megisti and 24 in Lesvos, with the remainder arriving in Chios and Kos.

These figures contrast the 100,000 migrants who have reached Greece since the beginning of November, with an average of 4,500 daily crossings reported by authorities.

No fatalities in Greek waters have been recorded since Nov. 17, IOM highlighted. At least 585 people have lost their lives so far this year while to trying to reach Greece from Turkey.

Drops in maritime arrivals have also been registered in Italy where, in the first three weeks of November, only 1,708 migrants landed in the country compared to 5,342 over the same period last month.

"This is a decrease that does not surprise us, as it is normal to register a drop of arrivals in November," IOM spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo said in a statement.

IOM figures show that 712,159 out of the total 858,805 refugee and migrant maritime arrivals in Europe this year have been reported in Greece, while 142,695 arrived in Italy, 3,845 in Spain and 106 in Malta.

 Xinhua - globaltimes.cn

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