(Greece) – According to Frontex, the border agency of the European Union, the number of migrants and refugees who have arrived in Greece have declined considerably over last year, while the number of migrants who have entered Italy from last year have increased. The agency has said that there are several factors at play that have impacted the drop in numbers, including stricter border controls and an agreement between the European Union, Greece, and Turkey that was enacted to control the flow of migrants into Greece.
Greece’s numbers are down 95% from last year during this time. The reason for this decline is that because of the agreement between Greece and Turkey, Turkey has done a better at job at preventing the migrants from entering Greece. Most of the refugees who came to Greece in the past had to go through Turkey first. The number of migrants going to Italy increased by 24%. However, the agency has said that the total number of migrants who have entered the Mediterranean was roughly the same from last year.
Currently, there are about 54,000 migrants and refugees living in Greece in makeshift and state run camps. Currently, Greece is looking to improve the conditions at these camps by closing those with subpar facilities and opening new ones. Morale in the camps is currently low because the migrants have been experiencing long wait times as Greece tries to process the asylum applications. There is a backlog that Greece hopes to clear soon. Meanwhile, the people at the camps are eager to get on with their lives by moving on from Greece and into other places in Europe with stronger economies so that they can send their children to school and also find jobs. Most of these people have fled from countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq to escape the wars.