Extra riot police were dispatched to the Greek island of Kos as tension is rising due to the increased arrival of migrants and refugees.
Furthermore, Greek State Minister Alekos Flabouraris decided to send a cruise liner on the island that will operate as a reception center. The cruise liner has a capacity to host 2,500 people and will be docked on the island’s main port to facilitate the arrival process for migrants and refugees.
Two riot police units, i.e. 40 officers, from Athens, as well as policemen from the surrounding islands were dispatched to Kos, after the Greek island’s mayor, Giorgos Kiritsis, warned the government that the current situation would lead to “bloodshed.”
At the moment, Kos has 33,000 residents, while the number of migrants and refugees awaiting their immigration papers has reached 7,000. The situation worsened on Tuesday, when police were forced to use truncheons and fire extinguishers to prevent a stampede as migrants were being transferred to a local football stadium, after camping on the streets for days.
“Since the beginning of the week, extra immigration officials have been sent to Kos to speed up the administrative procedure,” said Kiritsis. “We hope that by Friday, the majority of migrants can be registered and leave the island.”
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) noted last week that 124,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Greece since the beginning of the year. Furthermore, UNHCR said that Athens’ response to the problem has been “totally shameful.” Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stated that the country is not able to handle the refugee crisis and called for European Union assistance.
Two cruise liners carrying 2000 migrants arrive in Piraeus
Around 2,000 migrants and refugees arrived at the port of Piraeus, on board two cruise liners, from the Greek island of Kos. Over the last few days, an increased number of undocumented migrants have arrived on the Greek island from Turkey, fleeing the civil war-torn Syria, as well as other war-stricken countries.
During the journey from Kos to Piraeus, a 17-year-old pregnant refugee suffered complications and the ship had to turn back. The young woman was taken to a local hospital where she received medical care. A few hours later, she returned to the cruise liner which left for Piraeus after a three-hour delay.