Frontex: Greece needs more ships, planes

23 February 2016
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The head of Europe’s border control agency says more border officers, ships and planes are needed to guard Greece’s sprawling maritime border, where most migrants enter the 28-nation European Union.

Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri says Tuesday the agency’s 2016 budget has been increased to 250 million euros ($275 million) from 142 million euros last year. In 2017, the agency’s budget will increase to 320 million euros.

Some 775 EU border officers are currently deployed in Greece and about 280 in southern Italy where migrants arrive across the Mediterranean from Libya.

Leggeri says January migrant arrivals are down significantly over December, but are many times higher than the number who arrived in January 2015. Last year saw more than one million migrants land on Europe’s shores.

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