3,500 refugees a day seek asylum in Europe

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Written By Farid Shojaei

Record numbers of migrants seeking a new life are breaching the borders of Europe.

The European Union reports more than 107,000 migrants arrived in Europe in July – that is more than 3,450 a day.

This flood of refugees is coming from North Africa and the Middle East on a makeshift fleet of rubber dinghies, small boats and ships.

Many thousands are paying traffickers for passage and the death toll of those arriving in squalid or inadequate vessels and boats is rising by the day.

Europe is struggling to cope with the surge in migrants, with Greece and Italy bearing the brunt of the problem as those making successful crossings of the Mediterranean wash up on their shores.

Escaping oppression

The EU says the refugees are fleeing from war-torn countries such as Syria, Libya and as far away as Afghanistan.  Civil war and the hardship of living under sometimes brutal Islamic regimes are cited as the triggers of the flow of men, women and children escaping oppression.

Tens of thousands of the refugees make for the Channel port of Calais to try and find a way of crossing to Britain.

Within Europe, thousands are living in camps, disused public buildings and even cruise liners as governments struggle to cope with the influx of people.

Germany is taking 750,000 refugees this year – and the government says the scale of the problem is huge and would take the construction of a block of flats a day to accommodate them.

Frontex, the EU border agency announced the number of migrants had passed 100,000 in a single month for the first time since records started in 2008.

Security agreements

“July was the third month in a row with a huge increase in numbers, up from 70,000 in June,” said a spokesman.

“We expect to see at least 750,000 refugees seek asylum in Europe this year on top of the hundreds of thousands already here.

“That’s just the numbers that have registered with the authorities. Thousands more could be scattered across Europe.”

France and Britain have reached a new agreement on security around Calais and the Eurotunnel in a bid to stop hundreds of attempts by refugees to reach the UK every day.  The British government is paying £7 million to France in an attempt to stem the flow of refugees.

Meanwhile, Hungary has stepped up border patrols by sending thousands of police and soldiers to patrol the crossing between the country and Serbia. This is seen as a key move as Hungary is the first stop for many refugees as the crossing the border puts them in the Schengen Zone, which allows free passage across mainland Europe.