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Migrant flows to northern Aegean islands spike with unforeseeable consequences

Featured Migrant flows to northern Aegean islands spike with unforeseeable consequences

A sharp increase in refugee and migratory flows has been registered over the last period in the islands of the North Aegean.

Only in the last week nearly 1,200 people arrived, of which 480 are children and 240 women. Among them are many who have serious health problems.

North Aegean Regional Secretary Christiana Kalogirou pointed out on SKAI radio that about 12,500 refugees and immigrants arrived in Lesvos, Chios and Samos since the beginning of September.

"The situation is very difficult and not manageable," the regional governor added, while the mayors of all three islands called for an immediate meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

As the Kathimerini newspaper reports, government officials "placing hope for a solution to the problem in the worsening weather," which seasonally reduces flows.

The Mayor of Lesvos says that people have begun to sleep on the streets again. "With the first rain we will have floods and insurmountable problems," warns Spyros Galinos.

At the same time, several infrastructure facilities in island reception and identification centers have been destroyed due to overcrowding. NGO "Doctors Without Borders" says many people leave the hot spots, preferring to set up their own tents in the woods. Water and sewage networks have also been destroyed and living conditions in the camp are characterized by most as"unbearable".

The Immigration Policy Minister has already announced that about 2,000 asylum seekers will be transported from the islands to the mainland, but this will not solve the problem if arrivals continue at the current pace.