02:50 GMT17 April 2021
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    According to UN High Commissioner for Refugees, since the beginning of 2015, over 100,000 migrants entered Europe via the Mediterranean.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Since the beginning of 2015, over 100,000 migrants entered Europe via the Mediterranean, a spokesman for the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said Tuesday.

    “It's official: #refugees & migrant arrivals via Mediterranean now above 100K so far in 2015: 54K Italy, 48K Greece, 920 Spain, 91 Malta,” Adrian Edwards tweeted.

    In recent years, the European Union has been struggling with an influx of undocumented migrants fleeing conflicts and poverty in North Africa and the Middle East. Refugees use the Mediterranean as a main route to get to Europe.

    According to UNHCR, in 2014 some 218,000 people crossed the Mediterranean and at least 3,500 died in the attempt.

    In April 2015, a boat carrying some 900 refugees capsized while heading from Libya to Italy. Only 28 people survived. Public outcry following the tragedy prompted the European Union to review its approach towards migration.

    The bloc established a naval mission to counter illegal migrant trafficking and is currently discussing a quota system to redistribute 40,000 migrants that arrived to Italy and Greece into other member states. The United Kingdom, France, Spain, the Czech Republic and Hungary have protested a quota proposal by the European Commission.

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    Tags:
    illegal migrants, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), United Nations, European Union
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