The influx of refugees from Turkey to Greece continues: On Tuesday, nearly 200 people crossed to the islands of Chios, Kos and Lesbos, reaching the EU.
Another 43 migrants sailed along the coast from Turkey to the Greek port city of Alexandroupolis, according to the coast guard in Piraeus. Meanwhile, a new record of migrants holding out in camps and other shelters on the islands in the eastern Aegean Sea was registered.
According to the Ministry of Citizens’ Protection, the islands were recently home to more than 26.000 migrants. Never since the EU-Turkey refugee pact came into force in March 2016 have there been so many, state radio (ERT) reported. In April, there were still 14 living on the islands.000 migrants. In the past two months, an increased influx of refugees from Turkey had begun.
The refugee pact between the EU and Turkey stipulates that the EU can send back all refugees and migrants who arrive illegally on the Greek islands via Turkey. However, the processing of asylum applications is making slow progress even today on the Greek islands due to a shortage of staff. The new conservative Greek government, in office since July, has announced that it will speed up asylum procedures.