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News > Greece

Greece: 265 Migrants Arrive in Lesbos in Less Than 24 hours

  • Migrants protesting outside the Moria refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece, Oct. 1, 2019.

    Migrants protesting outside the Moria refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece, Oct. 1, 2019. | Photo: EFE

Published 2 October 2019

Living conditions in overcrowded camps triggered recent demonstrations in which two people died and five were injured.

Over the last 24 hours, seven humanitarian rescue vessels arrived in Lesbos, a Greek island that received 265 migrants who were rescued from emergency situations in the Mediterranean Sea.


Greece to Deport 10,000 Asylum-Seekers, Relocate Thousands by 2020

"We waited all night until we boarded the ship. We had nothing to eat, it was so cold," one of the migrants said.

"It was a very difficult trip. We were in the middle of nowhere, we had no food or water," another migrant said and added that he would like to go to Austria, where his brother lives.

Humanitarian organizations pointed out that there is no sudden increase in arrivals, as the flow of migrants is common in this area.

"I don't think there is an unexpected wave of newcomers. People keep coming to Lesbos since 2015. The number of refugees arriving depends on political decisions and measures," the Refugee Rescue NGO spokesperson Yiannis Skenderoglou said.​​​​​​​

"Sometimes the people get trapped and have to wait years. Some of them decide to go home."

To handle assistance on this island, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) set up "Second Stage", a small camp near the coast for the reception of new migrants.

There, besides getting some food and being examined by doctors, migrants rest for a moment before leaving for the Moria refugee camp.

Nevertheless, the conditions for receiving new migrants would appear to have deteriorated over time, as refugees have clashed with the Greek police at the Moria camp on Sept. 29.

“A woman and child died as a result of the chaos and fires at the overcrowded Moria camp. Five others were sent to hospital for injuries suffered from the fires and fighting, ”The Voice of Europe reported.​​​​

In September, "over 10,000 people arrived in the Aegean islands. Nearly 5,000 of them arrived in Lesbos," UNHCR Spokesman Theodoros Alexelis said and ​​​​​​​warned that Lesbos is actually in a state of emergency.

"With the support of the European Union, the Greek government must transfer some 4,000 refugees and migrants to the continent."

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