The EU logged 213,000 new migrant arrivals in April, May and June but only 44,000 were seeking a new life in Europe after fleeing the Syrian civil war.
The latest figures from Eurostat, the EU’s official statistical agency, reveal migration from April to June was running at double the level of the same period in 2014 and the migrants came from places as far apart as Afghanistan, Bangladesh and South Sudan.
One cause of the spike is the number of Afghans lodging asylum claims. They are up four-fold, from 6,300 to 27,000. Another 17,700 claims were made by Albanians, whose country is not at war but does share a European border.
A further 13,900 applicants came from Iraq which, like neighbouring Syria, is being smashed by the Islamic State terrorists.
Half a million migrants have arrived in Europe so far this year, with 156,000 coming in August alone. Rather than claiming asylum in the first safe EU country they reach, which in most cases is Greece or Italy, most head on toward wealthy northern states. …
Elsewhere, the number of people applying for asylum for the first time in Norway shot up by 81 per cent between April and June, according to the Eurostat figures.