And the Balkan route is an earthly Lampedusa

The increase in arrivals: emergency on the Balkan route

If it is not an invasion, we are facing a worrying increase in the arrivals of illegal migrants in the European Union. 64% more than in 2021, which was already growing exponentially. Frontex recorded 330,000 irregular crossings of the external borders last year. The lion’s share goes to the Balkan route with 145,600 migrants, but arrivals by sea have also increased with over 100,000 landings on the central route, with a direct impact on Italy. And that of the Eastern Mediterranean is also increasing significantly, up 108% for a total of 42,831 irregular crossings.

A red alert that needs to be buffered before it hits half a million migrants next year. In 2020, the pandemic had reduced departures, but then the numbers climbed back to a third of a million. In practice, we are at the highest level since 2016.

The pre-eminence of the Balkan route marks an increase of 136% compared to 2021. Along the land route, the first nationalities are represented by Syrians and Afghans entitled to asylum, but they are closely followed by Turks and Tunisians, who are popping up everywhere. The Syrian flow has never stopped, showing the catastrophe of the Arab Spring that has failed in all participating countries from Tunis to Damascus. Afghans will continue to arrive as the Taliban regime tightens. Migrants from India and Burundi have also been reported along the land route through the former Yugoslavia, an unusual presence but worrying because the supply chains are ethnic. If the crossing works, the route will attract more and more people of the same nationality.

Not only that: by November 6, 14,600 migrants from the Balkan route arrived in Friuli Venezia Giulia and Trieste was transformed into the Lampedusa of the north-east. At the beginning of December, the increase in arrivals at the regional level was 57% compared to 2021, but only in the capital of Julian it increased to 70%. Today the Minister of the Interior, Matteo Piantedosi, will be in town together with Luca Ciriani, a native of Pordenone, in charge of relations with Parliament.

The other front for Italy is that of the sea, particularly on the central Mediterranean route. According to the European Border Agency, the increase is 51%. Il Giornale has other numbers that detail how the traveling bomb continued to grow. 32,798 people landed in Italy from Tunisia and only 272 were recovered by NGOs. Libya remains the real Bubo with 53,190 migrants arriving here (21% collected by NGOs). The alarming figure is that to this number must be added the 22,397 migrants who were intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard and brought back to shore. The total number of exits from Libya organized by human traffickers is 75,618 people. Libyans have intercepted a quarter fewer boats than in 2021 after the Draghi government shelved the dossier. Another worrying aspect is the constant increase in departures from Cyrenaica, which began in August and has never stopped thanks to old fishing boats that hold the sea better and can carry 500 people at a time. The total number of arrivals from eastern Libya in the hands of General Khalifa Haftar, supported by Russians and Egyptians, is 20,000 migrants.

Only the western routes from Morocco and West Africa have declined, but on the other hand, the number of illegal crossings of the English Channel to Britain has exploded. Over 71,000 people, which is 37% more than 2021, and around fifty nationalities.

Unless Europe intervenes decisively in the countries of origin and upstream to discourage travel to a nonexistent Western Eldorado, we risk invasion numbers.