A total 24,000 migrants and refugees entered Greece in 2018, up until July 8, a 122 percent increase compared to the same period last year, a Deutsche Welle report says.
According to an Austrian expert who has been campaigning for curbing traffickers and trafficking for the past 17 years, the situation may escalate once the situation of the Turkish economy deteriorates and many refugees and migrants currently working in Turkey are losing their jobs. “In that case, hundreds of thousands would be on the road and would be trying to come to Europe,” the expert said, according to DW.
While the number of migrants crossing the Aegean to Greece illegally has dropped, border crossing in Evros has increased. Traffickers have adjusted to the change and direct migrants through that route.
Also, the Austrian anti-trafficking expert said, Spain is now becoming the main destination for migrants. “Madrid’s liberal attitude, which says it will not send ships back, immediately makes the round of the world,” he said.
Italy, on the other hand, virtually closed all its ports for ships carrying refugees and migrants. According to the International Organization for Migration, only 3,100 refugees and migrants arrived in Italy in 2018, the lowest number recorded since 2014.