The hostilities in the countries of the middle east and particularly in Syria, have largely increased the influx of illegal immigrants in Greece. Seeking a better life in Greece and Europe, immigrants do not hesitate to illegally cross the borders, putting their lives in danger.
The number of arrested refugees mainly from Syria is constantly increasing, while the coast guard authorities identify traffickers’ boats in various parts of the Aegean Sea almost on a daily basis.
During the first half of the year the increase recorded was estimated at 131.55% compared to 2013 figures. In July only, 4,175 immigrants came to Greece from the Middle East which is ravaged by wars.
Most immigrants who come from Syria are trying to enter Greece via Turkey. In July, Greek authorities arrested 4,175 people, compared to the 1,538 who were arrested in the same month last year. The number of undocumented immigrants is currently at 15,104 while last year it was estimated at 6,200 people.
“If they decide to flee the refugee camps set up in [Syria’s] neighboring countries, the situation will get worse. At the same time, we are holding our breath over the situation in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries,” Panagiotis Nikas, director of a first-reception service told the Kathimerini newspaper.
According to Nikas, Greece and Italy receive the largest number of illegal immigrants. “Right now, Greece and Italy have to shoulder a disproportionate burden despite the fact that our borders are also Europe’s borders and despite the fact that most migrants do not wish to settle in Greece but to move further north,” he said.