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1,500 irregular migrants used new route to reach Greece

March 13, 2024 at 2:11 pm

Stranded irregular migrants waiting for police officers in Greece on September 03, 2023 [Ayhan Mehmet/Anadolu Agency]

Emerging new migration to the Greek island of Crete is putting pressure on Athens and is causing increasing concern, media reports said yesterday.

With the arrival of around 300 people, the number of irregular migrants who arrived on the island of Gavdos, south of Crete, by sea from Egypt, reached 1,500, according to the Kathimerini newspaper.

It said the majority of the migrants in the last three months are Egyptian men and a small percentage have claimed Bangladesh or Pakistan nationalities.

“Of course we are concerned. However, we will address the issue in cooperation with Europe,” Migration Minister Dimitris Kairidis told the newspaper.

He maintained that the increased arrivals to Crete and Gavdos are via new migration routes, starting in Egypt and stopping on the way to the Libyan coast.

Regional Governor of Crete, Stavros Arnaoutakis, said: “We are waiting for the minister, and we will be in consultation so that we have the best possible result.”

He said the flow of irregular migrants would likely grow with improving weather.

Greek authorities in recent months have announced that the number of migrants arriving via the Aegean Sea and the northern Evros region significantly fell in recent months owing to the advancement of cooperation with Turkiye.

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