Migrant Influx to Greece Continues Through Christmas Despite Severe Weather



File photo Credit: lauraindiagarinois.com

Despite the ongoing severe weather conditions and freezing temperatures which have prevailed in Greece over the past several days, the influx of migrants from Turkey to the Eastern Aegean islands continues without a letup.

At least 412 refugees and migrants landed by boat in the last three days alone on a number of islands in Greece’s eastern Aegean region.

According to a statement issued by the Greek Coast Guard on Monday, from Friday morning, December 27, to Monday morning, December 30, at least 162 migrants and refugees arrived on Lesvos, 27 on Chios, 96 on Samos, 109 on the small island of Pharmakonissi, ten on Pserimos and eight on Kos.

Additionally, a search and rescue operation took place on Saturday off the shores of the city of Alexandroupolis, where thirty-nine refugees and migrants were saved from the cold waters by the Greek Coast Guard.

Meanwhile, operations to ease the almost-intolerable migrant burden on the island of Lesvos are continuing.

Transfers of migrants from Lesvos to mainland Greece have decreased the number of the asylum-seekers there to 20,707 people, approximately four to five thousand fewer than were living there just a couple of months ago.

However, this figure is still extremely high, especially if we take into consideration that the permanent population of the entire island of Lesvos is only approximately 37,000.