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Behind the Numbers: The price of entering Europe

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Translation by:

Federica M.

SocietyBehind the Numbers

In Athens, a black market now operates for those seeking to enter Europe. Human traffickers, operating illegally, assign varied prices to different routes through Europe. The cost of searching for a new life starts at 1,000 euros.

The market never stops; even when it's illegally bringing migrants to Europe. In Athens a black market for migrants has arisen, and those in charge of managing it have set different rates for the various routes through Europe. The hope for a better life has a starting price of 1,000 euros.

According to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal the price tag rises depending on the destination. Italy, which is not such a preferred location, holds the minimum fare. The country itself constitutes a crossing point, potentially because those making the journey are aware of its declining economy.

In order to seek shelter in richer countries, one has to shell out more. The Balkans route towards Germany or Switzerland – either by car or on foot – could set you back between 1,500 and 2,000 euros. For reaching Norway or Sweden – again, using the Balkans route – the price rises to 2,500 euros. 

This fare for human trafficking includes the smugglers payroll and that of any middlemen, and also varies depending on how likely the trip is to succeed. On top of this, there's the type of transportation. A truck journey to Germany is around 2,500 euros, though if you choose to take a plane it's considerably more. Flying to Germany, Sweden or Norway costs between 3,500 to 5,000 euros. Europe is not the only destination: traffickers also handle journeys to Canada – if paid 14,000 euros.

The Athens police force is aware of this critical situation, and continues to intervene. Yet trafficking relentlessly resumes soon after – whatever the price.


This article is part of our Behind the Numbers series, illustrating newsworthy stats with artistic design and a brief analysis.

Translated from Numeri che parlano da soli: il prezzo per entrare in Europa