Giovedì, 22 Novembre 2018
ROME

Frontex, Italy appear to disagree on migrant arrivals (2)

English
© ANSA

Rome, February 13 - The EU border agency Frontex and
the Italian interior ministry appeared to disagree on Tuesday
over the trend in migrant arrivals in Italy in early 2018 -
though Frontex later spoke to ANSA and cleared up the
discrepancy.
Frontex said that numbers were up in January compared to the
previous month and comparable to the same month last year.
"The number of migrants arriving in Italy via the Central
Mediterranean route in January rose to more than 4,800, double
the figure from the previous month, when smuggling activities
were affected by fighting near the departure areas and poor
weather," the agency said.
"The monthly total was roughly in line with January of last
year," the EU agency added. Conversely, the interior ministry
said migrant arrivals had dropped by 50% over the same period in
2017 to 4,731 so far this year.
The drop was sharper from Libya: 3,534 in 2018, compared to
9,007 in 2017, a drop of 61%, the ministry added.
Of the arrivals so far this year, 621 were unaccompanied
minors.
But speaking to ANSA later, Frontex said "there is no
indication of a change in the general trend of falling" migrant
arrivals "which started in summer of 2017".
"The number of irregular migrants who arrived in Italy in
December 2017 was the lowest in three years. The numbers rose
slightly in January, remaining however in line with the January
2017 figures".
After the slight rise in January, it said, "the number
plunged to 249 in the first 12 days of February, 95% lower than
the the same period in 2017".
Frontex and the Italian interior ministry appeared to agree
on trends in nationality of the migrants arriving in Italy.
"According to preliminary data, Eritreans were the largest
group of migrants detected on this route, followed by nationals
of Pakistan and Tunisia," Frontex said.
Likewise, the ministry said Eritreans topped the
nationalities arriving at 1,312, followed by Tunisians (763),
Pakistanis (279) and Nigerians (252).
Frontex also noted an increase in the number of Libyans
making their way across the Mediterranean in recent months.
Asylum seekers transferred to other European countries
according to relocation agreements were 11,934, the Italian
interior ministry added.
Overall, the number of migrants arriving in Europe via the
four principal sea routes fell by 7% in January over the same
month in 2017, Frontex said.

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