Illegal migration: EU records lowest number in 5 years

Illegal migration: EU records lowest number in 5 years

Illustrative picture. PHOTO CREDIT: Pulse

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) has said about 150, 000 people entered the European Union (EU) through illegal crossings in 2018.

The agency said this is the lowest number in five years and far below the peak of more than a million recorded in 2015

According to European Union estimates released on Friday, most of the migrants who crossed the Mediterranean to Europe last year arrived in Spain, as Italy had the fewest irregular entries in five years.

The number of arrivals in Italy, which has taken measures to prevent rescued migrants landing, fell by 80 percent to around 23,000, the fewest since 2012.

Meanwhile, arrivals in Spain doubled to 57,000 migrants last year, making the route from Morocco to the Iberian Peninsula the most active in Europe.

Arrivals in Greece and Cyprus through the so-called Eastern Mediterranean route rose to 56,000 last year, most of the migrants coming from Afghanistan, Syria or Iraq.