Countries located in southern Europe that are used as routes to reach other European countries expect more than 150,000 arrivals this year.
It is believed that a new migration wave will mainly happen due to the food shortages in the Middle East and Africa, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The probable increase in migrant arrivals was predicted by the Minister of Interior of Cyprus, Nicos Nouris. According to Reuters, the Minister claimed on Saturday after a meeting with ministers of the MED5 group in Venice that this year the frontline member states will register over 150,000 migrant arrivals.
“This year the frontline member states are expected, as we have discussed between us, to receive more than 150,000 migrants,” the Minister said.
The data from the United Nations refugee agency show that around 34,000 migrants and asylum seekers have already landed in Spain, Italy, Greece, Malta, and Cyprus so far this year. Such figures are significantly higher than those in 2021. In 2021 there were registered only 123,318 arrivals.
Nonetheless, Reuters explains that the overall numbers remain considerably below those registered in 2015. Back in 2015, around 1 million migrants reached the five countries mentioned above to flee conflict as well as poverty in the Middle East and Africa.
A shortage of wheat and other grains could also affect the movement of people from the Middle East and Africa to Europe. The United Nations coordination Amin Awad said that if there is such kind of a shortage, 1.4 billion people will be affected. He emphasised that more negotiations are needed to unblock Ukraine ports.
Commenting on the situation, the Minister of Interior of Italy, Luciana Lamorgese, said that if the wheat remains blocked in Black Sea port, the countries must expect a greater migrant flow.
“We are concerned, as are all frontline countries,” Lamorgese stated.
Previously, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that over half a million third-country nationals were illegally living in the EU in 2021. More than 1.2 million nationals of third countries were subject to immigration law enforcement in 2021. France was at the top of the list of the countries that reported those cases. Nationals of Syria, Ukraine, Algeria, and Albania were the main ones who were found living in France illegally.
Of the southern European countries, Greece reported the highest number of cases. Greece registered around 28,800 cases of persons residing illegally in the country.
Despite such high rates, fewer nationals of other countries were asked to leave the bloc in 2021. There was a 14 per cent decline in the number of persons being asked to go back to their home countries.