Migrant arrivals rose 823% Jan-April, Frontex deputy chief

But 2014 budget lower than last year

14 May, 15:04

    (ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS, MAY 14 - EU border-management agency Frontex deputy director Gil Arias Fernandez announced on Wednesday that 823% more migrants had arrived in Italy in the first four months of 2014 than in the same period last year. From January to April 2014, 25,650 migrants arrived in Sicily and 660 in the Puglia and Calabria regions. In the first four months ''there was a sharp increase in migrant arrivals, and the number is expected to continue to rise as the summer months draw closer,'' Arias said. ''We also know that there are numerous migrants on the Libyan coast trying to leave.'' Arias underscored that the ''Frontex budget for 2014 is lower than that for 2013. In order to be able to deal with emergencies, during discussion on the 2015 budget in March we requested extra funding to be kept as a reserve fund. The EU Commission rejected the request.'' On the latest migrant deaths - when 17 died after their raft sunk in the Strait of Sicily on Monday - Arias said that ''the Eurosur system wasn't able to be used. It is a platform for data exchange and works according to the data put into it. I believe that the Italian authorities couldn't see the boats sink, otherwise the situation could have been avoided.(ANSAmed).

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