The transportation of more than 300 refugees and illegal immigrants who arrived from Turkey to the small island of Symi began this week. All the individuals will be moved to already-established migrant camps across Greece.
Following repeated complaints from Symi mayor Eleftherios Papakalodoukas that hundreds of refugees and illegal immigrants were sleeping on the streets of the picturesque island, Greek authorities decided to send them to organized camps on other islands or on the mainland.
Since the beginning of this summer, Symi has seen more than 1,500 asylum seekers and illegal immigrants arrive on its shores from Turkey, most of whom have already been transferred to the islands of Leros, Lesvos, Samos, Chios and Kos by now.
Symi does not have any premises to accommodate asylum seekers or migrants, so all those who arrived on the island have been sleeping rough on the streets or inside the courtyard of the local police department.
Part of the Dodecanese archipelago, Symi has a permanent population of approximately 2,500 individuals, but tens of thousands of tourists visit the idyllic Greek island every year.