That’s unheard of, according to Hans Leijtens, head of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), quoted by Le Figaro. He said these illegal entries accounted for more than half of the 80,700 irregular entries registered in the EU so far this year.
Hans Leijtens said: “Especially from Tunisia, we are currently seeing 1100% growth over last year”.
In a press release obtained by Le Figaro, Frontex said on Friday that the number of crossings through the central Mediterranean is the highest since the agency began collecting data in 2009.
According to the boss of Frontex, this unprecedented increase is due to the change in the activity of smugglers and the low cost of clandestine crossing.
“They currently use small, temporary metal boats that are produced on the beach in one day, 24 hours,” and cost about 1,000 euros, Hans Leijdens said.