Greece reports big fall in asylum seeker numbers

Number of migrants staying on the islands dropping dramatically

16 September, 17:24

    ATHENS - Greece's government has reported a huge drop in the number of migrants on the Greek islands compared with a year ago.

    According to data coming out of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum, the number of migrants staying at island facilities fell by 81%, to 5,264 people in August 2021, versus 27,576 in August last year.

    During the same period, the overall number of migrants who are accommodated in camps across Greece dropped by 49%, while in parallel, the number of arrivals on the Aegean islands was down by 78%.

    "The numbers reflect the fact that Greece will not be limited to the role of an observer of migration flows. It is not accidental, nor coincidental, that the total number of people living in the country from 82,119 in August 2020, is now 42,181," said Greece's MIgration Minister Notis Mitarakis in the media statement.

    The largest decrease was recorded on Chios, which reached -89%, followed by Kos and Samos with -88 %. Leros is next with -87% and Lesvos -75%.

    According to the government's August review newsletter, flows in arrivals in the first eight months of 2021 are down by 53% compared to the first eight months of 2020. On the islands in particular, arrivals are down by 78%.

    In terms of numbers, in the first eight months of 2021, 7,841 people left for either Europe or third party countries through the mechanisms of deportation, and return and relocation of third-country nationals.

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