Migration will be the main and determining issue of next year’s European parliamentary (EP) elections, György Bakondi said.

According to the Chief Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, at next May’s EP elections members of the European public will have an opportunity to state their opinions on migration processes. He added that, judging by the outcomes of national elections, the opinions of European people have changed significantly, and this will also have an impact on the composition of the European Parliament.

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The chief advisor said illegal immigrants continue to arrive in Europe via three main directions, from Spain, Italy and the Balkans route starting from Greece.

This year 62,479 migrants have come to Europe via Spain which represents a more than 120 per cent increase compared with last year’s data. People from Morocco, Mali, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Gambia and Senegal choose this route; almost eighty per cent of them are men, Mr Bakondi pointed out.

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According to his information, thanks to the stringent measures introduced by the Italian government, this year 80 per cent fewer people have entered Europe via Italy, only 23,192 migrants in total who are primarily African migrants. 71.9 per cent of them were men.

In Greece 31,874 entries have been recorded in total which in itself represents a five per cent increase on a year-to-year basis; however, not all migrants crossing the Turkish-Greek green border have been successfully registered, he added. People from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Congo, Palestine, Iran, Algeria and Pakistan are arriving from this direction, and also at present there are some 16,000 asylum-seekers on Greek islands.

There are 3.9 million refugees in Turkey; 3.5 million of them are from Syria, 170,000 from Afghanistan, 142,000 from Iraq, 57,700 from Somalia, 39,000 from Iran, and less than ten per cent of them have UN registration, he highlighted.

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Mr Bakondi also said that in Macedonia the number of illegal border crossings has increased by 64 per cent compared with last year’s corresponding period. Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Poland and Hungary, too, have sent police personnel to the region on a long-term basis.

According to the chief security advisor’s information, some 5,900 border crossing attempts have been made on the fenced-off Hungarian border section. In 1,700 cases the authorities have prevented the illegal border crossing attempts, while 4,200 illegal migrants have been shown back to the other side of the border fence. He added that on the Hungarian-Croatian border section there have been 139 illegal border crossings qualifying as criminal offences, while on the Hungarian-Serbian border section there have been 24 instances of prohibited border crossing.

Additionally, the authorities have registered 185 prohibited border crossings on the Hungarian-Romanian border section. This number does not include the number of apprehensions made together with the Romanian authorities at border crossing stations on Romanian territory. 60 prohibited border crossings have been made from Ukraine, Mr Bakondi said.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)