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Immigration/Emmigration

New wave of migrants from Africa, Asia and east Europe exploiting Syrian crisis

HUNDREDS of thousands of apparent economic migrants from Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe are exploiting the turmoil caused by the Syrian civil war to travel to the EU for a better life, it can be revealed today.

Migrants walk through Serbia on their way to GermanyAP
Migrants walk through Serbia on their way to Germany


The number of people arriving from countries including Nigeria, Bangladesh and Pakistan has skyrocketed over the last year as Europe has been gripped by growing migrant chaos.Amazingly asylum claims from eastern European countries including Albania and Serbia – both of which are set to become members of the EU – have also more than tripled over the last year alone, leading to suspicions people are taking advantage of the Syrian war to move for work.
And whilst genuine Syrian refugees continue to make up a large proportion of those arriving on the continent’s shores, new data reveals how increasing numbers of people from Africa and Asia are being found amongst the boatloads arriving from Turkey and Libya.Despite claims to the contrary, official statistics show that at least half of all those arriving in Europe are not from the war zones of Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

A migrant childAFP

Official figures indicate that migrants from other countries are exploiting the Syrian crisis


Refugees being processed in GermanyGETTY

Whilst many refugees are Syrian, the numbers of Africans arriving in Europe has risen sharply


The figures, released by the United Nations, cast doubt on claims that the huge numbers of migrants flooding into Europe every day are really families fleeing war and persecution.They show that the number of Nigerians arriving in Italy has more than tripled in the space of a year, whilst refugees from Syria have plummeted six-fold.Overall Nigeria – a democracy with one of the fastest growing economies in the world – sent 24,904 people to Europe between January and November last year, a 44% increase on the same period the year before.

There were also dramatic hikes in the numbers of people from countries including Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, Senegal and Morocco arriving on Italy’s shores, whilst Gambia, Mali and Bangladesh also produced large numbers.

A UNCHR graph showing asylum applications to ItalyUNCHR

The figures, compiled by the United Nations, will fuel calls for stricter border checks

A UNCHR graph showing the nationalities of EU refugeesUNCHR

There has been a sharp spike in Nigerians coming to the continent

A report released by the European border agency Frontex today concluded that almost all of the “steadily increasing” number of people arriving from West Africa are economic migrants, who are fleeing neither war nor poverty.The document also raised serious concerns that militants from the terrorist group Boko Haram – which is allied to Islamic State (ISIS) – are taking advantage of the migrant crisis to infiltrate fighters into Europe.It stated: “For many West Africans, the decision to migrate is motivated by the feeling of inequality as well as social, peer and family pressure rather than by desperate need (poverty).

“This is why many of the migrants are not the worst-off in their home countries.

“The prevailing profile of rejected visa applicants (young males) corresponds to the profile of migrants arriving in the EU through irregular channels.”

It then added: “In addition, Cameroon is very concerned about Boko Haram members hiding among refugees.”At the same time in neighbouring Greece the numbers of people arriving from war-torn Syria have plummeted dramatically from a high of 108,940 in October to 42,038 last month.But the volume of people arriving from Pakistan every month has rocketed, rising from just 16 in January to 5,150 in November.

Overall the number of Pakistanis seeking asylum in the EU has more than doubled over the last year, from 19,244 to 40,088.

Numbers are also up from neighbouring Bangladesh, with almost 6,000 applying for asylum in Italy alone last year, whilst almost three thousand people rescued from boats in the Mediterranean claimed to be from Burma.

Even more surprising are the figures for the EU’s nearest neighbours Serbia and Albania, which are both now sending huge numbers of refugees into the 28-nation bloc.The number of Serbians claiming asylum in Western Europe more than doubled in 2015 – with 82,916 claiming they needed political refuge in other countries – whilst the volume of Albanians rocketed four-fold from 14,537 to 61,330.Incredibly both Serbia and Albania are in advanced talks to become the newest members of the EU, meaning they have been deemed advanced enough in terms of their economies, political structures and human rights records to join the Brussels club.

The revelations come after a top EU official admitted that almost two-thirds of all those arriving in Europe are economic migrants and not fleeing war in the Middle East.

First vice-president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, quoted unpublished figures from Frontex said the vast majority of people coming to Europe have “no reason whatsoever” to be claiming asylum.Instead he said around 60% of the so-called refugees are actually Africans, including Moroccans and Tunisians, who are leaving their own countries for “economic reasons”.Europe is in the grip of an enormous migrant crisis, with more than a million people arriving in the continent last year alone.

Most of those people arrive on boats in Greece and Turkey, before moving north to settle in Germany and Scandinavia.

Britain, which is not part of the troubled Schengen free movement zone, has today agreed to take in more refugee children as pressure mounts on David Cameron to do more to address the humanitarian crisis.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/638848/European-refugee-crisis-rise-migrants-Africa-Asia-eastern-Europe-EU

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