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New migration routes open through Spain and Romania, IOM says

Brussels - In an effort to circumvent European Union efforts to curb migration in the central and eastern Mediterranean, new migration routes are appearing through Spain and Romania, an official with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Tuesday.
Eugenio Ambrosi, director of IOM's regional office for the EU, said that the number of migrants arriving through the routes was relatively low, however, the new routes signal that human traffickers and smugglers were looking at alternatives for reaching EU countries.
According to IOM, almost 10,300 people have arrived in Spain by sea in 2017 alone. Ambrosi said that it was "not a huge number," but it was still four times higher than in 2016.
A few hundred migrants have also arrived in Romania by crossing the Black Sea by boat, he noted.
"[It's] a clear indication that the traffickers and smugglers are looking at alternatives - in terms of how viable alternatives could be - to continuing their business," Ambrosi said.
He added that it was also a signal that EU policies aiming to curb migration were ineffective.
"Simply stopping the flow is A, not an answer and B, not really working in general," he said.
So far in 2017, a total of almost 130,000 migrants have reached the shores of Europe through the Mediterranean. The numbers of arrivals by sea have been dropping since 2015, when a record 1 million migrants arrived through the Mediterranean.