Migrants Continue to Flow into Greece, Balkans

Greece - An estimated 28,000 migrants and refugees crossed into Greece from Friday (30/10) to Sunday (01/11), according to Hellenic Police figures. Some 10,842 arrived on October 30th, 8,998 on October 31st, 4,292 on November 1st and 3,787 on November 2nd.

According to IOM staff, the disparity can be attributed to the winter weather and rough seas, which are reducing the number of days that migrants can safely travel from Turkey.

Numbers of migrants and refugees leaving the country are also influenced by the days of the week on which ferries leave the Aegean islands for Athens and Kavala.

A 2-day strike by the Panhellenic Maritime Federation yesterday and today (2-3/11) will reduce flows from the islands to the mainland.

IOM estimates that over 200,000 migrants arrived in Greece by sea during October 2015. During the month, deaths at sea have also risen sharply. Last week there were seven fatal shipwrecks. The Hellenic Coast Guard says that during October it recovered 106 bodies, but many more are reported missing.

The deadliest incident was off the coast of Lesvos on 28/10. Following the completion of search operations, the Coast Guard announced that 274 migrants were rescued and 42 bodies were recovered.   

In another incident off the coast of Kalymnos on 29/10, the Coast Guard rescued 138 migrants and recovered 19 bodies. The two incidents indicate that larger boats are now being used by the smugglers.

Just in the month of October, IOM counted the deaths of 398 migrants on all sea routes to Europe. IOM recorded at least 40 drownings or reports of migrants missing in Spanish waters; on the Eastern Mediterranean route between Greece and Turkey over 220 deaths, plus an estimated 138 in the waters between North Africa and Sicily.

The number of migrants and refugees crossing from Greece to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) has also remained high. Some 5,400 crossed on 27/10/2015, 6,000 on 28/10/2015, 7,450 on 29/10/2015, 7,250 on 30/10/2015, 7,500 on 31/10/2015 and 6,150 on 01/11/2015. During the reporting period, numbers averaged 6,625 a day.

According the Early Warning Information Sharing Network implemented by IOM Greece and IOM Western Balkans, the number in border crossings rose almost 40% in the last eleven days of October (21/10-31/10),  compared to the previous 11-day period (11/10- 20/10).

For latest data on arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean please visit

For further information please contact Daniel Esdras at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 9912174, Email: