Frontex says refugee arrivals in Greece fall sharply in November

European border protection agency Frontex says that refugee arrivals in Greece have fallen sharply last month

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Greek police officers guard the area where hundreds of refugees, who were stranded on the Greek-Macedonian border and blocking rail traffic, are gathered in tents after a police operation near the village of Idomeni, Greece on December 9, 2015 (Reuters)

The number of refugees arriving in Greece fell sharply in November, with fewer than 100,000 people recorded by the European border protection agency Frontex, less than half the number in October, a spokeswoman for the agency reported on Friday.

The spokeswoman said more than 200,000 people had arrived in October, stating that the data has not yet been fully compiled. Worsening weather conditions seemed to be reducing the influx, she added.

In the last week of November, arrivals in Greece were a little more than 5,000.

Referring to an EU-Turkish accord in late November, the spokeswoman said that it was too early to establish any trend to try and limit the numbers of refugees leaving Turkey.

More than 600,000 people have reached Greece this year, through surrounding islands in boats or rubber dinghies taking off from Turkey.

Germany and France have suggested plans for EU border surveillance to boost patrol in Greece’s frontiers amid the latest attempt to solve Europe’s refugee crisis.   

The latest proposal aimed to patrol Greece’s frontier also applies to all EU member states, due to frustrations that Greece failed to control the large number of refugees arriving by sea which is putting the EU’s open-border Schengen bloc at risk.

EU leaders are expected to meet at a summit on Dec. 17 to call for more pressure on both governments and refugees to stick with policy proposed in Brussels.  

Greece has been skeptical to collaborate with Turkey after an EU deal to help keep Syrian refugees in Turkey. The EU concern now is to patrol sea between Greece and Turkey where naval securities might operate without Greek cooperation.

TRTWorld and agencies