Influx grows as Germany, France eye united front
Thousands of migrants and refugees continued to reach the shores of Greece’s eastern Aegean islands on their way to Western Europe, as France and Germany called for a unified response to the mounting crisis.
According to police estimates, between 8,500 and 9,000 refugees on the island of Lesvos were yesterday awaiting transfer to the Greek mainland. A ferry charted by the Greek government – the Eleftherios Venizelos – was expected to pick up another 2,500 Syrians from the island at 2.30 this morning and bring them to Athens.
“The foreigners that leave the island every day are replaced by the same number of people arriving from the Turkish coast,” Lesvos Mayor Spyros Galinos told Kathimerini.
Authorities said a second ferry would be added to the route in the coming days.
The Hellenic Coast Guard yesterday recovered the bodies of two people who drowned after the vessel they were traveling in capsized due to strong winds off the island’s coast. Another person was still missing late yesterday while eight were rescued.
Meanwhile, more than 3,000 migrants and refugees remained stranded on Kos island. Also yesterday on Kos, a fire broke out at the derelict Captain Elias hotel which is used as temporary accommodation by refugees.