Ekathimerini: Push to Move Migrants From Islands to Mainland
Municipal officials from the islands of Lesvos, Chios and Samos, which are bearing the brunt of an increased influx of migrants from neighboring Turkey, are due in Athens on Tuesday to press the government for action to ease the pressure on their local communities, Ekathimerini reported.
The officials decided to coordinate their protests and seek a meeting with Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas to speed up the transfer of migrants from the islands to mainland Greece.
There are currently more than 15,000 migrants living in state-run camps on Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros and Kos. More than 15,000 have been transferred to the mainland over the past year. Of those more than 3,500 were transferred in the last month alone.
But islanders say more action is needed due to growing tensions in the reception centers and among the local communities as arrivals from Turkey have increased.
Hopes that a European Union refugee relocation program could ease some of the pressure have been largely frustrated as the process is a slow one.