Greece is one of the main gateways to Europe, together with Italy and Spain in the Mediterranean region. Between January 2015 and July 2018, an estimated number of 1,091,514 migrants and refugees arrived in Greece, in their majority viewing Greece as their first stop and as a transit country towards their final destination to central and north-ern European states.
So far in 2018, a total of 23,419 refugees and migrants arrived in Greece by sea. Arrivals during the first nine months of 2018 are 17% higher than those of the same period in 2017. The number is significant and continues to put pressure on the already over-whelmed Greek reception and asylum system.