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Europe is facing a migrant crisis, the main burden of which falls on the countries of southern Europe.
In the first half of 2015, 137,000 refugees arrived in Europe through the Mediterranean Sea. This is more than 80% more than in the same period of 2014. About a third of them are Syrians. There are also many refugees from Afghanistan and Eritrea. This is stated in a report released today by the UN refugee agency.
The number of refugees arriving in Greece has increased. Since the beginning of this year, 68 thousand migrants have arrived in Greece by sea, while for the whole of 2014 this figure was 43 500. The authors of the report emphasize that many of the migrants who arrived in Greece continue on their way to the western part of the Balkan Peninsula. Since the beginning of June, about one thousand refugees have arrived in this region from Greece every day, the report says.
The head of the UN refugee agency Antonio Gutteres said that the majority of migrants who arrived by sea in Europe are people who seek protection from war and persecution.
According to the system of quotas for the reception of migrants, based on the population, the state of the economy and other factors, the largest number of refugees is in Germany.
The European Commission has proposed over the next two years to accept 20 thousand migrants into the EU and distribute them among the countries of the community. Great Britain, Ireland and Denmark are given the opportunity to refuse to accept any refugees.
Italy and other southern European states called on the European Union to help them cope with the influx of migrants from North Africa trying to get to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted today that no country should be left alone to solve problems related to illegal migration.
According to the quota system based on the population, the state of the economy and other factors, the largest number of refugees is in Germany. This is followed by France, Italy, given the right of the UK to not accept migrants.
The European Commission at the end of May will formally appeal to the governments of the EU countries with a proposal to take on obligations to receive migrants who need international protection.
Since the beginning of this year, at least 1800 refugees have died trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea.