Refugee Arrivals in Greece Soar 40-Fold From Year Ago, EU Says

  • Frontex says 108,000 migrants arrived in Greece in December
  • About 1 million refugees came to Greece and Italy last year

The number of migrants who arrived in Greece last month spiked to 40 times the level seen in December 2014, according to Frontex, the European Union’s border agency, underscoring the scale of human movement under way between the Middle East and the EU.

Greece saw 108,000 refugees arrive over the course of last month, bringing the total number in 2015 to 880,000, according to data the agency published on Friday. In addition, 157,000 arrived on Italy’s shores last year. The coast guard said on Friday that 34 migrants drowned when their wooden sailing boat sank off the coast of the Greek island of Kalolimnos, Kathimerini reported.

Europe’s refugee crisis has become one of the dominant themes of the World Economic Forum in Davos, with economists and policy makers at odds on the long-term solution to the region’s biggest migrant influx since World War II.

“Our society will be changed by this, in which direction we can only guess,” European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said Friday in a panel discussion at the Swiss ski resort. “We are all working to make it into an opportunity.”

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