German newspaper Die Welt published an article revealing that the northern borders of Greece and Bulgaria are not being guarded sufficiently, leading to more immigrants passing through Greece to Germany and central Europe via the Balkan route.
The article goes so far as to accuse the Greek government of providing false figures to conceal its failure and tactics.
The German newspaper started its research into the matter after noticing that nearly 15,000 immigrants were arriving in Germany on a monthly basis mainly via the Balkan route.
Citing German security sources and European diplomatic circles, the German newspaper claims that Greece is giving false data on the number of migrants in Greece to hide the true extent of the problem. “Athens talks of 62,000 refugees in the mainland and the islands. In fact, there are about 40,000 immigrants in Greece – although this year approximately 20,000 new immigrants arrived in the Aegean islands”, the report notes.
The authors requested information from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which responded that it was supporting some 44,000 immigrants in Greece. On the basis of these figures, the number of migrants in the islands hotspot is much smaller than the 13,600 of which the government officially speaks. “We estimate it is at most 10,000,” a European senior official told Welt.