2015-12-29 18:48:00

Greece sees more than 800,000 migrants in 2015

(Vatican Radio)  More than 830,000 Middle Eastern migrants and refugees entered Europe through Greece in 2015, according to the country’s border police.  That figure tallies with the estimate of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

Listen to John Carr's report:

It’s a tenfold rise over 2014, which has seriously strained Greece’s infrastructure, especially in the eastern Aegean islands, in a time of severe economic recession. 

This week Wolfgang Schaeuble, the German Finance Minister, criticized Greece for being ineffectual in processing and controlling the constant stream of boat people from the Turkish coast.

The flimsy craft kept coming over the Christmas holiday, encouraged by the mild weather in the Aegean.  Yet scores of migrants, half of them children, perished when the overloaded boats broke apart on several occasions.

Next week the weather in Greece is forecast to take a sharp turn for the worse, as a blast of cold wind from Russia sweeps down the Balkans, and we can expect snow here in Athens as well.  Which does not augur well for the migrants who still see Greece as their gateway to Europe.

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