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EU migrant numbers top one million for 2015: IOM

Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - 00:53

The number of refugees and migrants arriving by land and sea in the European Union has passed one million in 2015, according to the International Organization for Migration. Rough Cut-subtitled (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The number of refugees and migrants arriving by land and sea in the European Union has passed one million this year, while a further 3,600 died or went missing, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday (December 22). This is three to four times the number of people that arrived into Europe in 2014. "We have just published the figures of the one, passing the one million mark for the number of refugees and other migrants heading north into Europe, primarily out of Syria but other areas also, and out of that number, the death total is very close to 3,700. Primarily in the Mediterranean, Central Mediterranean, with many fewer in the Aegean and the land route in the Balkans," IOM's Director-General William Lacy Swing said during an interview with Reuters. "This is three to four times as many migrants coming North and refugees as we had in the year 2014, and the deaths have already far surpassed the deaths in last year," he added. Half of those arriving were Syrians fleeing the war, another 20 percent were Afghans, and seven percent were Iraqis, IOM, along with the United Nations agency for refugees said in a statement. Out of a total of 1,005,504 arrivals to Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Malta and Cyprus by December 21, the vast majority -- 816,752 -- arrived by sea in Greece, IOM said. Unless negotiations on Syria succeed in bringing peace, and the European Union come together to propose solutions, allowing living conditions in Syria's neighboring countries to improve, Lacy Swing insisted that there wouldn't be a reason to see these numbers decrease in 2016.

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EU migrant numbers top one million for 2015: IOM

Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - 00:53