From archive: An operation to repatriate migrants in Lampedusa | Photo: ANSA/ CARLO FERRARO
From archive: An operation to repatriate migrants in Lampedusa | Photo: ANSA/ CARLO FERRARO

Migrant landings in Italy have plunged by almost 80%, but the number of repatriations has also gone down slightly, according to data released by the interior ministry on August 15. Migrant repatriations from the country have decreased by 0.7%. and the number of assisted repatriations has more than halved, the ministry said.

Repatriations from Italy have gone down, though only slightly: Between August 1 last year and July 31 this year, they have decreased by 0.7%. The number of assisted repatriations has more than halved, the data showed. 

Expulsions from Italy went up 6.7%, from 16,425 to 17,531 (those at the border were 9,203, up 17,3% on last year's 7,849). 

Data released by the ministry 

According to data released by the ministry, the number of arrivals decreased from 42,700 to 8,691.  A drop of 95.2% was also registered in the number of bodies retrieved at sea: from 82 to four. 

Repatriations instead went down from  6,962 to 6,909. 

Voluntary repatriations decreased in a more significant way, down 53.8% from 1,201 to 555. 

Another significant change was the drastic decrease in costs to accommodate migrants, with 105,142 currently hosted by the system, down 34% compared to 2018. From an expense of 2.2 billion between August 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018, the cost dropped to 501 million over the past year, the data showed. 

Arrivals up 4% in EU in July, Frontex says EU border agency 

Frontex has reported a 4% increase in the arrival of undocumented migrants in Europe in July compared to June (or 10,500 arrivals). However, if the first seven months of 2019 are considered, arrivals dropped by 30% compared to the previous year (when 54,300 were reported). 

The eastern Mediterranean route was used by the highest number of migrants, some 5,800 in July. A 6% drop was reported in the first seven months of the year, with the exception of the Greek islands where an increase was registered. Afghans mostly used the eastern route. 

The western Mediterranean route, most frequently used by sub-Saharan African migrants, registered a 22% increase in July (2,900) compared to June, while a 41% drop was registered over the first seven months of 2019 (13,000). A reported 1,100 migrants used the central Mediterranean route, 4,900 over six months, or one-quarter of those who travelled along the route during the same period in 2018. 
 

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