Over a Thousand Migrants Storm Greece and Italy In Days

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Both Italy and Greece have seen a new influx of migrants in the last several days, with Greece alone receiving over 700 migrants in 24 hours.

Italian authorities allowed several migrant transport NGO vessels to dock on both Sunday and Monday, with the French NGO Sos Mediterranée dropping off 215 migrants at the port of Messina on Sunday after recovering the migrants off the coast of Libya, Il Giornale reports.

A day later, the unpopular leftist Italian coalition government of the Democratic Party and the Five Star Movement, granted access to two more migrant transport NGOs, Open Arms, which landed 73 migrants in Taranto and Aita Mari which disembarked 78 migrants in Pozallo.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte celebrated the fact that both Germany and France then agreed to help relocate the migrants coming into Italy following the temporary system agreed upon in Malta earlier in the year that some have regarded as tenuous.

While Italy has seen a surge in new arrivals since the new government largely reversed the closed port policy of former populist Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, the numbers in Greece have seen an even more substantial increase in the last several weeks.

Over the weekend, Greece’s Aegean islands saw 643 migrants land by boat in 24 hours, while the Greek coastguard picked up another 60 migrants for a total of 703 migrants overall.

The new figures come just a week after Greece saw 1,350 migrants arrive last weekend.

Several islands in the Aegean, most notably Lesbos and Samos, have seen their migrant camps become severely overcrowded with an estimated 37,000 migrants living in conditions only meant for a few thousand at most.

The Greek conservative government has reacted to the overcrowding by sending some migrants to the Greek mainland, despite the protestations of Greek natives. Authorities also declared that larger closed facilities would be built on the Aegean islands to accommodate a higher number of migrants.

Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced last week that the government would be deploying a thousand more border patrol guards and upgrading sea patrols to “shut the door” to illegal migrants.


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