@Harry-Wijnberg writes in response to my last post of this topic:
Following your shift to Sicily: (West) Africans use to take the Italian way, whereas people from the Middle East and Asia use to come by Turkey-Greece seaborder.
If an average Syrian is willing/ able to pay higher prices as (west) Africans for the Italian route it might be more advantageous for smugglers to change smuggling Syrians in stead of Africans. Lets say that an average Syrian can pay 50% more per place as an average (West) Africans (might be much more), then with the increase of Syrian and Afghan sea arrivals in Italy the numbers of arrivals from Africans will drop severely. We might have to take that in account to get over 1 MM in 2016
Wow! Harry-Wijnberg makes a very good point. I hadn’t given any thought to the possibility that Syrian refugees/migrants, etc., might crowd out[a] African refugees/migrants. In the long run, I suspect (without any real evidence) that the number of smugglers is pretty flexible, and more suppliers will enter the market if the price becomes high enough. But in the short run, barriers to entry might mean the price goes up without much change in the number of refugees/migrants.
One source claims that the number of landings in Italy has already spiked:
The number of refugees arriving in Italy is rising sharply amid fears that a controversial deal struck with Turkey could force asylum seekers to take longer and more dangerous routes to Europe. The Italian interior ministry has documented 16,075 migrants crossing to its shores so far this year, compared to just over 10,000 during the same period in 2015. Most were rescued from smugglers’ boats off the Libyan coast and brought ashore in Sicily by the coast guard.[b] (see also [c] and [d]).
To make matters even more confusing, some sources are claiming that the number of refugees/migrants entering Greece is now going up again:
Arrivals of refugees and migrants to Greece from Turkey rose sharply on Wednesday, just over a week since the European Union and Turkey struck a deal intended to cut off the flow.[e]
The drop might have been due to a large degree to recent bad weather. I remain in let’s-just-wait-and-see mode and calling it an even-money operation. This question isn’t scheduled to close for another 9 months!