Frontex has announced that since January this year, crossings in the central Mediterranean have increased by around 300%. This data represents the highest levels ever recorded since statistics began in 2019.
Since the beginning of the year, Europe has recorded 40,000 irregular entries via the central Mediterranean crossing, which is a significant increase according to the European border monitoring agency, Frontex. Such numbers have never been witnessed since statistics began in this region in 2019. The increase is particularly marked from the Tunisian coast, with a 1,100% increase in crossings compared to the same period last year, according to Frontex.
Due to intense competition between trafficking groups, the prices charged to migrants wishing to reach Europe have fallen considerably. In Tunisia, this drop in prices is pushing smugglers to increase the number of departures.
In addition, traffickers have adopted a new type of boat: metal skiffs that are built in less than a day on the beaches and cost around 1,000 euros per unit. These boats are particularly used from Tunisia. During their patrols at sea, the National Guard has observed these new types of boats on several occasions in recent months.