There has been a fall in the number of migrants entering Europe since April 2016 after the deal with Turkey and closure of the Greece-Macedonia border, said the border protection agency Frontex on Tuesday. Italy has become the current destination for migrants hoping to find shelter in Europe.
Currently, around 750 illegal migrants are heading to Italy every day, while inflow into Greece has fallen to 50. Most migrants heading to Italy embark on their journey from the war-torn country Libya, Reuters reported.
"For the first six months of 2016, there were 360,000 illegal entries in the EU, which is higher than what we saw last year, but the influx has been diminishing since April," Fabrice Leggeri, executive director of Frontex, the agency in charge of protecting the bloc's external borders, told Europe 1 Radio. Among the migrants heading to Italy most are from sub-Saharan Africa, he added.
The agency credits the diminishing flow of refugees to the closure of the Greece-Macedonia border and the much-criticised deal with Turkey, in which the Middle Eastern country would stop migrants from traveling to Europe in exchange for monetary and political rewards.
However, migrants, who continue to take on perilous journeys for safer shores, are still perishing at sea as they travel in unsafe boats.
As many as four bodies were recovered and 400 migrants were rescued after a wooden boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea, while on way to Italy from Libya, Reuters reported.
Recently, the European Parliament voted to rename Frontex, to European Border and Coast Guard Agency. The agency would receive 322 million Euros by 2020 and its staff will be increased by 100 percent. Members of European Union are also expected to contribute troops that can be deployed on an immediate basis.
Frontex's or the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union helps EU countries' border authorities work together.