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– by Karl Kopp
Police operation against human traffickers at the border between Germany and Poland.
In 2015, Italy and Greece registered over a million boat people; in the same year, 3,700 men, women and children died in the Mediterranean Sea and in Turkish and Greek waters. A total of 856,723 refugees arrived in Greece’s Aegean islands – around 800 people lost their lives during the crossing.
More than 90 % of asylum seekers fled from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. On Italian soil, 153,600 boat people landed in 2015. On the route that leads there, 26 % of asylum seekers come from Eritrea, eight percent from Somalia and six percent from Sudan – only five percent are Syrians.
Because EU member states offer no legal, non-dangerous routes for refugees, people seeking asylum in Europe risk their lives. Greece (in 2012) and Bulgaria (in 2013/2014) have successively – and virtually hermetically – sealed their borders with Turkey. The deadly toll: at least 30,000 fatalities have been registered on Europe’s borders since the year 2000. Quite obviously, the EU needs to rethink its policy on refugees completely. (kk)