Greece expects 100,000 more refugees by 2020

Six migrants died from exposure on the Greek-Turkish border in December

A woman holds a baby as refugees and migrants take part in a demonstration against their living conditions at the Moria camp on the island of Lesbos, on October 1, 2019. - Around a thousand migrants staged a fresh protest on October 1, 2019 in Europe's largest migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, two days after a deadly fire at the vastly overcrowded facility. (Photo by ANGELOS TZORTZINIS / AFP)
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Greece is predicting 100,000 more migrants will access its shores from Turkey in 2020.

It comes as the nation faces a mounting crisis as it struggles to cope with the influx of refugees.

Greece’s bursting migrant camps are already under immense strain.

For the first time since 2016, Greece has become the main entry point for asylum seekers in Europe.

Greece’s government commissioner for migration, Manos Logothetis, told the German Funk media group the situation was “critical”.

"The crisis is happening now, and it is serious,” he added.

More than 45,000 refugees have arrived in Greece in the past six months and over 41,000 people are waiting in its three largest migrant camps on its islands near Turkey.

It is the highest number since the EU-Turkey refugee pact came into force in 2016.

In December six migrants died from exposure on the Greek-Turkish border in the Evros region.

The Evros region is a major crossing point for refugees and migrants trying to enter the EU from Turkey.

The number of migrants arriving in Greece peaked in 2015 when more than a million people, most of them Syrian refugees, crossed from Turkey, mainly by boat.

A deal struck between the EU and Ankara in 2016 helped to stem the flow.

But the number of people trying to cross Evros into Greece has increased since naval patrols intensified in the Aegean Sea that year.

Traffickers have also found entry points along a 12km barbed-wire fence that runs along the border with Turkey.

The Greek government in November said it would hire 400 border guards in Evros and increase surveillance there.

Many migrants have drowned on the perilous journey across the Evros river over the past few years.