The Malta Independent 26 May 2019, Sunday

EU agency reports drop in migrant arrivals

Associated Press Wednesday, 15 May 2019, 07:43 Last update: about 10 days ago

The European Union's border agency says the number of migrants entering the bloc without authorization continues to drop.

Frontex said Tuesday that it spotted 4,900 "illegal border crossings" in April, a fall of 19% over the previous month.

In all, about 24,200 crossings were detected in the first four months of 2019, 27% down from in 2018.

More than half the unauthorized migrants were detected on Europe's eastern borders. One in four were Afghans, while one in five were citizens of Turkey, a candidate for EU membership.

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Just over 200 people crossed the central Mediterranean, once Europe's busiest migrant route.

The EU was plunged into a political crisis in 2015 over how to handle migrant arrivals. Surveys say migration is a key issue in the May 23-26 EU elections.

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