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Mass migration to Europe is on the rise again

The migrant crisis has been going on for six years. Spain and Italy are the most burdened. With better weather, there are more and more activities on the Balkan route. Bosnia and Herzegovina is also heavily burdened, with migrants roaming the streets and living in abandoned buildings. In Slovenia, too, there are new cases of illegal migrants every day.

The migrant crisis continues in 2021. Mass migrations to Europe continue to take place mainly across the Mediterranean by sea, and with nicer and warmer spring weather, there is more and more movement on the Balkan route leading to Slovenia. Police reports show that Slovenian police officers hunt down illegal migrants who want to enter Slovenia illegally every day; sometimes they prevent them from doing so at the border crossings, however, often they find them when they are already in the country. Spain and Italy remain the most burdened. More and more new migrants arrive on the shores of these two countries by sea every day. At the beginning of March, 11,298 migrants arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean Sea. Of which as many as 10,802 travelled by sea. Most of these newcomers are now in Italy, where, according to data collected on March 8th, there is 5,692 of them. Italy has reopened its borders to Third World masses since the left wing migrant-loving government came to power. In Spain, where the left wing government is also in power, there are 4,443 migrants. There are about 900 of them in Greece, and a smaller number in Cyprus and Malta. Of the countries on the Balkan route, Bosnia and Herzegovina remains heavily burdened. However, experts warn that the economic consequences of the Chinese virus epidemic could lead to an even bigger wave of migrants in the future.

Migrant trends are rising in Italy and Spain, Greece convicts two migrants of burning a refugee camp
Most migrants come to Italy from Tunisia and Côte d’Ivoire. In 2018, when Matteo Salvini took over as Interior Minister, migration trends visibly declined. While 117,153 arrived in 2017, in 2018 that number dropped to 23,037. The numbers of new migrants remained low in 2019 as well, when 11,471 arrived throughout the year. However, after the left wing government came to power, the numbers began to rise again. In 2020, despite the general health crisis, 34,134 arrived, which is only a few hundred migrants fewer compared to those who arrived in the previous two years. This trend is clearly continuing, given that well over 5,000 of them arrived in the first two months of this year. Spain is facing similar trends, with three times as many migrants arriving on its shores in January alone as in the same period a year earlier. According to data collected on March 8th, 908 have arrived in Greece so far, but the country, which also has larger migrant camps, has been facing major problems due to mass migration since the beginning of the migrant crisis in 2015. In September last year, two large fires destroyed the Moria refugee camp on the island of Lesbos. As a result, migrants roamed the island and slept right on the roads. On March 10th this year, a court convicted two Afghans, who were only seventeen years old at the time, for setting fire to the Europe’s largest migrant camp. Fires in Greek centres and camps for migrants are nothing new; they are often ignited by the migrants themselves, thus clearly showing their “gratitude” to the country that received them.

There is an increased number of migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well
Bosnia and Herzegovina remains heavily burdened on the Balkan route. Due to this, a meeting of the group for the control of the migrant crisis was held in Bihać, the capital of the Una-Sana Canton. Epidemiologists drew attention to the deteriorating situation inside the migrant camps. During an epidemic, migration is all the more problematic, as migrants often also spread COVID-19. The participants in the meeting confirmed that they perceive an increase in trends or a larger influx of migrants to this part of the country. This creates new problems for locals who have faced migrant violence, thefts, and attacks in the past, as migrant centres in Una-Sana Canton can only accommodate 2,500 migrants, leaving many of them uncontrollably and voluntarily wandering around, sleeping in abandoned buildings and structures. The Minister of the Interior of the Una-Sana Canton, Nermin Kljajić, warned: “At least 1,500 migrants are currently wandering the streets and staying in abandoned buildings. This is a major safety and health-epidemiological problem. All the refugee camps in our area are full, some are already bursting at the seams. There are now 950 of them in the Miral camp, which is intended for 700 people.” Due to increased migration, local authorities will be forced, in cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior, to exercise stricter control over the arrival of new migrants and the renting out of private premises to persons who have entered the country illegally. Due to the poor epidemiological picture, the movement of migrants in the surrounding migrant centres in Bihać and Cazin will also be severely limited. There are currently around 15,000 migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina who want to continue their journey to the EU. In Serbia, which is also facing problems due to the migrant crisis, it is estimated that there are about 8,000 of them. Thus, 2,300 migrants are waiting for the opportunity to go towards the EU and thus also towards Slovenia.

More migrants were also observed in Slovenia
Mass migrations and increased trends of new migrants can also be felt in our homeland. Daily police reports are full of cases of illegal migrants caught both at border crossings and inland. These are migrants from the Balkan route, who mostly try to sneak into our country via Croatia, often with the help of smugglers. On the first weekend in March, police in Primorska region intercepted as many as 38 migrants. They captured a group of ten Afghans, intercepted a Kosovo Albanian who was smuggling five illegal migrants from Turkey, and in separate cases they caught two times of five Turks, eight Afghans, two Iranians, and two Afghans, and a lone migrant from Pakistan. A few days later, in Lendava, police intercepted 26 illegals from Sri Lanka. And many illegal migrants hiding in trucks are caught by police at border crossings. In early March, they intercepted migrants from Syria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who were hiding in the chassis of vehicles or among cargo. In Metlika, police officers stopped two passenger cars with two Indians residing in Italy, who were illegally transporting four migrants from India, and one Pakistani. On the same day, police caught three illegal migrants from Morocco and Algeria in Ribnica. All in all, police are said to have dealt with 597 illegal migrants in the first two months. Of these, 105 were dealt with only in the last week of February. Police also arrested 24 migrant smugglers. In warmer weather, we can expect even more migration and the continuation of the migrant crisis, which could be fatal for Europe.

Andrej Sekulović

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