Greece is being “overwhelmed” by illegal migrants surging across its land border with Turkey, with a local mayor warning the situation is “on the verge of spinning out of control”.

The country bore the brunt of the 2015 influx, which saw over 815,000 illegal migrants traverse the Aegean Sea in dangerous watercraft.

This figure was reduced to 30,000 in 2017 after the European Union persuading the Turkish government to step up containment efforts following a multi-billion euro deal — partly financed by the United Kingdom.

The major action then shifted from Greece to the so-called Central Mediterranean Route from Libya to Italy. But this, too, was brought under partial control in late 2017 after the Italian authorities cracked down on so-called “rescue” ships operated by pro-migration NGOs and began incentivising the Libyan coast guard to intercept smuggler-boats.

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