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Over 278,000 illegal migrants entered Eu in 2014 (Frontex)

43.357 from Western Balkans, 22.059 from Kosovo

04 February, 16:53
(ANSA) - BRUXELLES - Nearly 300,000 immigrants illegally crossed European Union borders in 2014, two and a half times the number in 2013, said the European border protection agency Frontex.

In 2014, Italy registered more than half of the total, or 170,757 of the 278,000 immigrants to the EU. Frontex said the sharp increase is due to Syrian and Iraqi refugees, calling the mass exodus the worst refugee crisis sincethe Second World War.

In Italy, where immigrants arrive primarily through the eastern Mediterranean ports in Calabria and Puglia, the largest number of immigrants in 2014 came from Syria, followed by Eritrea and Sub-saharan Africa.

The most common port of entry is through airports, and Frontex said the majority of illegal immigrants currently living within European borders arrived legally with visas that have since expired.

Another important access route is via Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus with nearly 51,000 migrants who entered the EU via this route in 2014, with migrants of Syrian nationality on top of the list (31.670).

The individuals arriving to the EU through the Western Balkans were 43.357, 22.059 out of which arrived from Kosovo. (ANSA).

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