Greece Records Threefold Rise in Migrant Arrivals Over Land



The Greek Minister of Migration, Dimitris Vitsas, revealed on Friday that the influx of migrants over the land border with Turkey increased by almost 300 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year.

There was an increase of 10 percent in migration to the Aegean islands during the same period.

Vitsas said that a total of 47,929 migrants arrived in Greece in 2018 compared to 34,707 in 2017. Of that number, 32,155 individuals landed on the islands, while 15,814 went across the Evros River along the land border with Turkey.

Though the Evros frontier is heavily guarded, it is still an easier way to get into Greece than taking a boat to an island in the Mediterranean or Aegean.

Islands such as Lesvos, Samos, and Chios have essentially become dead-ends for migration, where thousands of asylum seekers and migrants remain stuck in squalid camps.

Greece issued an official complaint to both the European Commission and Turkish authorities in October of 2018, blaming the Turkish side for deliberate negligence in guarding the borders along the Evros River.