MIGRANT CRISIS SWAMPS GREECE
KOS: Overwhelmed police on the Greek island of Kos yesterday beat Afghans and Syrians with truncheons and sprayed them with fire extinguishers as its mayor warned of a “bloodbath” if the migrant crisis were to worsen.
Amid mounting tensions across Europe over the increase in new arrivals, Germany’s police union called for the scrapping of Europe’s visa-free Schengen travel zone, while Italian police said they had arrested almost 900 suspected human-traffickers since January 2014 but said the kingpins were still at large.
In Kos, the migrants were being relocated to a football stadium after camping along roads and beaches for weeks.
Four police used truncheons and fire extinguishers seemingly to prevent a stampede as a crowd tried to squeeze through a door into the stadium.
At least one woman had fainted in the heat and many children were crying as the mass of people jostled for space, just days after the country’s handling of migrants came under fire from the United Nations.
Tensions on the tourist island are high, with its mayor claiming there were 7000 migrants stranded on Kos, which has a population of 30,000 people.
Kos mayor Giorgos Kiritsis said there “was a risk of bloodshed”.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras last week said the refugee crisis “surpasses” his crisis-hit nation’s resources and called for European Union assistance.
The UN refugee agency’s division for Europe last week said 124,000 refugees had landed in Greece this year.