Frontex reports a 3% decrease in the number of irregular migrants arriving by boat in Spain over the first half of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011: 2,637 in 2011 versus 2,559 in 2012. Most migrant boats attempt to reach the Spanish mainland along the coasts of Andalusia and elsewhere in eastern Spain. Frontex reports an increase of 6.5% in the number of migrants reaching the Spanish mainland, but this increase is offset by a reduction in the number of migrant arrivals in the Canary Islands.
EFE quoted Gil Arias, Frontex deputy director, as stating that “[t]he decline [in Spain] is in line with the trend of the EU…” where there has been an overall reduction of more than 50% in the number of irregular migrants crossing land and sea borders of Member States during the same six month period: 74,200 in 2011 versus 36,741 in 2012. Arias noted that the number of arrivals in Spain is “insignificant” relative to the overall EU, accounting for about 7% of the EU total with Italy accounting for 12% and Greece 67%.
Note that there are other media reports which provide slightly different figures from those reported by Frontex. Europapress reported that an estimated 3,000 migrants have been rescued so far this year (apparently though late July) along the Andalusian coast by rescue services.
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Filed under Algeria, Data / Stats, Eastern Atlantic, European Union, Frontex, Mauritania, Mediterranean, Morocco, News, Somalia, Spain
Frontex Deputy Executive Director Gil Arias announced today at a press conference that during the first quarter of 2011 most irregular migrants have entered the EU through Italy, primarily at Lampedusa. In 2010 the Greek-Turkish border was the main entry point for irregular migrants.
A total of 32,906 irregular migrants were detected at the EU borders during the 1st Quarter 2011 compared with a total of 14,857 during the 1st Quarter of 2010. Of the 32,906, 22,000 entered through Italy during the 1st Quarter, mostly at or around Lampedusa, and 7,200 entered the EU through Greece.
So far this year, January 1 to present, approximately 41,000 irregular migrants have entered the EU in the area around Lampedusa and other nearby islands.
Click here (EN), here (EN), here (IT), and here (IT) for articles.
Speaking at a press conference in Athens earlier this week, Gil Arias Fernandez, Frontex’s deputy executive director, credited the global recession as the key factor in 2009 for the reduced numbers of migrants seeking to enter the EU. He also credited “good collaboration from the African countries where immigrants usually depart[,]” referring to measures taken by Libya, Mauritania and Senegal to prevent migrants from leaving the countries.
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Click here and here for earlier posts on Frontex’s 2009 General Report.