A total of 230 refugees and migrants left from Chios on Wednesday night to travel to Piraeus.
The multinational group consists of people belonging to vulnerable categories such as: families with children; women travelling alone; elderly refugees, and those with disabilities.
The move is part of the migration ministry’s efforts to reduce overcrowding on the islands of the eastern Aegean, and to protect refugees.
When they reach Piraeus, they will board UNHCR buses, and will be transferred to accommodations operated by the agency throughout the country.
There are currently 2,704 refugees and migrants on Chios, according to ministry data.
During a meeting that was held in Athens on Tuesday, the mayors of the three islands; Lesvos, Samos and Chios, that have been mostly affected by migration, called on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to take measures to reduce overcrowding.
Following talks, the three local officials said Tsipras was informed about the problems they are facing and agreed on the need to act.
Lesvos mayor Spyros Galinos said they asked the prime minister to find a solution as soon as possible, noting that “we were in complete agreement.”
“Lesvos is now in a state of emergency, we cannot keep talking about the [EU-Turkey] deal,” he added.
Chios mayor Manolis Vournous acknowledged that some changes in the deal, such as returns to Turkey, require time to be carried out, but added that the islands cannot wait.
“We have exceeded every tolerable situation both for the local community and the refugees,” he said.
“We are here to demand the self-evident -that is, the decongestion [of the islands] and based on what we discussed, it will happen,” Samos mayor Mihalis Angelopoulos said.