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EU migrant influx easing since April - border agency

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 01:37

The European Union's border agency says the number of illegal migrants entering Europe has fallen since April. Nathan Frandino reports.

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Officials believe Europe's sprawling tent cities populated by migrants and refugees will not be growing any time soon. This, after the European Union border agency Frontex says the number of illegal migrants entering the EU has fallen since April. Still, Frontex executive director Fabrice Leggeri says they must keep an eye on all pathways to Europe. (SOUNDBITE) (French) EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF FRONTEX, THE AGENCY IN CHARGE OF PROTECTING THE EU BLOC'S EXTERNAL BORDERS, FABRICE LEGGERI, SAYING: "So we can assume that this year is looking better but there are still significant flows coming from Libya to Italy and that's what we have to monitor this summer." Last year, Frontex recorded more than 1.5 million irregular border crossings into Europe. This year, it has recorded some 360,000 during the first six months. Officials credit the EU-Turkey deal to halt illegal traffic across the Aegean Sea and the closed Greece-Macedonia border for the drop. But as Leggeri says, migrants are looking elsewhere to cross. (SOUNDBITE) (French) EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF FRONTEX, THE AGENCY IN CHARGE OF PROTECTING THE EU BLOC'S EXTERNAL BORDERS, FABRICE LEGGERI, SAYING: "So they (migrants) are arriving from Libya, to give you a number, for example currently on average there are 750 illegal migrants arriving every day in Italy. In Greece there are 50 on average per day. So as you can see it is once again Italy who is on the front line." Leggeri says Frontex will be increasing staff numbers and funding to boost its border controls. It will also create rapid response teams to be deployed at crisis spots in an effort prevent any more tragedies on Europe's borders and the Mediterranean.

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EU migrant influx easing since April - border agency

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 01:37