Migrant crisis continues: Nearly 2K third country nationals land on northern Greek isles in a week

Monday, 21 October 2019 22:31
George Vitsaras / SOOC/George Vitsaras
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A total of 1,908 third country nationals illegally landed on Greece's north Aegean islands over the past week up until the early morning hours of Monday, Oct. 21, according to Greek authorities.

The "preferred destination" was again Lesvos (Mytilene), where 820 people - would-be asylum seekers and irregular migrants - landed; followed by Hios (Chios) with 464 and Samos, 624.

The migrant/refugee crisis that erupted in mid-2015 under a then SYRIZA government has resurfaced over the past few months, coinciding with the assumption of power of center-right New Democracy (ND), with both governments nevertheless appearing unable to stem the tide of illegal immigration emanating from the opposite Turkish coast, and instead focusing on managing the number of foreign nationals once they arrive on Greek territory, but who are prevented from traveling to other EU destinations without travel documents.

The announcement coincided with a rally in the main city on Samos by local residents, who demanded the immediate evacuation of asylum seekers, a large number of whom are from sub-Saharan Africa.

Some 740 asylum seekers were transported from the eastern Aegean island to the mainland harbor of Elefsina on Monday.

Meanwhile, in the north-central city of Alexandria, in Imathia prefecture, southwest of Thessaloniki, police authorities were on high alert after the overnight clashes with third country nationals housed in a "hotspot" outside the municipality with residents of a local Roma settlement.

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