Over 1,350 Migrants Arrive on Greek Islands in Single Weekend

FILE - In this Thursday, March 16, 2017 file photo, piles of life jackets used by refugees and migrants are left in Molyvos village, on the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos. About 1,500 asylum-seekers were being transported from Greece's eastern Aegean island of Lesbos to the mainland Monday Sept. 2, …
AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis, File

The Greek coastguard has said more than 1,350 migrants arrived on various islands in the Aegean Sea over the weekend, as tensions boil in the already overcrowded camps.

The coastguard said they picked up a total of 658 migrants from Friday to Monday morning and added that another 730 migrants had managed to land on the coast of one of the Aegean islands near Turkey, newspaper Courrier International reports.

The new migrant flows come as the already overcrowded camps on islands like Lesbos and Samos are looking to transfer around 20,000 migrants to the Greek mainland to decrease the congestion in camps where 32,000 live in spaces designated for just 6,200.

Charities and other bodies like the United Nations have criticised conditions in the camps for years, with sexual and physical violence, and even several deaths, occurring in them.

On Saturday, the NGO Médecins sans Frontières confirmed the death of a nine-month-old child who died as a result of dehydration at the infamous Moria migrant camp on the island of Lesbos.

Many in Greece are not happy about the redistribution of migrants from the Aegean islands to the mainland, including the right-wing group Enomenoi Macedonia (United Macedonians), which this month organised a pork and wine barbeque protest resulting in accusations of racism.

Greece also faces increased pressure from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has threatened to allow 3.6 million Syrian asylum seekers to flood into Europe.

Earlier this month, Erdoğan made as a new threat to unleash migrants into Europe if the international community did not send more aid to Turkey, saying: “Whether or not support comes, we will continue to host our guests, but only up to a point.”

“If we see that this does not work, just like I said before, we will have no option left but to open the gates. If we open the gates, it is obvious where they will go,” he said.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com


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