Migrant Arrivals Plummet in Greece
Associated Press, January 17, 2023
The number of migrants arriving in Greece has dropped significantly over the last two years, according to the country’s migration minister.
Speaking at an event celebrating the launch of his ministry on Tuesday, Notis Mitarachi said the migration policies of Greece’s right-wing government were behind the fall, including increased border security, faster asylum procedures and a tightening of migration laws.
Greece has been widely accused of expelling people as soon as they reach Greek soil, without allowing them to apply for asylum, in a practice known as pushbacks.
The number of asylum-seekers living in the southern European country has also fallen, according to Mitarachi.
He said that Greece saw the lowest number of arrivals in a decade in 2021, putting the figure at under 9,000 people.
At the height of the Greek migration crisis, hundreds of thousands of people arrived on Greek islands or crossed the land border with Turkey, in what was the largest influx of refugees to Europe since World War Two.
In 2015, Mitarachi said, arrivals in Greece accounted for 75% of the total number of irregular arrivals in the European Union, while in 2022 that figure stood at just 5%.