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European Union

Dead refugees

by Karl Kopp

In brief

Police operation against human traffickers at the border between Germany and Poland.

Police operation against human traffickers at the border between Germany and Poland.

The refugees come mostly by sea, undertaking perilous voyages.

 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)

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