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Frontex: Illegal migration to Europe drops by 44 pct

BRUSSELS, May 21 (KUNA) — In the first four months of 2018, the total number of irregular border crossings to the European Union (EU) dropped 44 percent compared to a year ago, to about 29, 700, mainly because of lower migratory pressure on the Central Mediterranean route, Frontex, the EU border and coast guard agency reported in a press release Monday.

The total number of migrants detected on the Central Mediterranean route in the first four months of 2018 fell to roughly 9 400, down three-quarters from a year ago.

So far this year, Tunisians and Eritreans were the two most represented nationalities on this route, together accounting for almost 40 percent of all the detected migrants.

In the first four months of this year, more than 14, 900 migrants entered the EU through the Eastern Mediterranean route, 92 percent more than in the same period of last year. The increase was mainly caused by the rise of irregular crossings on the land borders with Turkey. The largest number of migrants on this route in the first four months of the year were nationals of Syria and Iraq.

In the first four months of 2018, there were some 4600 irregular border crossings on the Western Mediterranean route, 95 more than a year ago.

Nationals of Morocco accounted for the highest number of arrivals in Spain this year, followed by those from Guinea and Mali, it added.

Source: Kuwait News Agency