Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 77,555 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 17 September, with 33,611 to Spain, the leading destination this year.
This compares with 131,884 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 298,663 through a similar point (13 September) in 2016.
Spain, with over 43 per cent of all irregular arrivals on the Mediterranean through this year, has outpaced
Greece and Italy throughout the summer.
Italy’s arrivals to date – 20,777 – are the lowest recorded by IOM since 2014, lower in fact, than arrivals recorded by Italian authorities during many individual months over the past five years. The same can be said for Greece, whose totals for irregular migrant arrivals through the first week of September this year (22,153) recently surpassed arrivals to Italy. It is the first time that has happened since the early spring of 2016.