Via Keep Talking Greece – Does President Recep Tayyip Erdogan let the EU-Turkey deal on migration go burst? A significant increase in the number of refugees and migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey has been recorded in the last six days. A total of 1,196 people arrived in the Greek islands of northern and eastern Aegean Sea in the time Friday, August 18th – Wednesday, August 23rd 2017.
- August 18: 105
- August 19: 308
- August 20: 136
- August 21: 397
- August 22: 250
- August 23: 174
(source: Greek Migration Ministry until 7:00 am)
In addition, 84 new arrivals were recorded on the islands of Lesvos and Samos, on Wednesday. Two people assigned to operate the boat engines were arrested. A FRONTEX vessel rescued 48 refugees off the small island of Ro in the south-eastern Aegean.
2,400 people arrived in Greece August 1-20, 2017. Half of them arrived within just the last days. Local authorities observe the incising number of arrivals with “keen concern” to see whether the phenomenon is temporary linked to the good weather conditions or if there is a more general trend. They already warn that the situation on the islands is slowly getting out of control.
More than 14,000 people are trapped on the Greek islands that have hosting capacity for 5,576 people.
Reports from the island of Chios underline that a lot of refugees and migrants live outside the hotspots, spread across land plots without tents or any other facilities. “Little kids are seen to walk around without shoes and sleep in carton boxes,” PolitisChios.gr reports from the area around unofficial hotspot of VI.AL.
On the island of Samos the situation is reportedly not much better.
Flow increase – a Turkish plan?
According to the correspondent of AthensNewsAgency on the island of Lesvos, the Turkish Coast Guard has announced that it had zero intervention in the issue of refugees and migrants from the Turkish coast to the Greek islands as of August 15th.
The increase of the refugee and migrants flow timely coincides with the bitter row between Ankara and Berlin: Last Friday, President Erdogan described the main German political parties as “enemies of Turkey” and urged his German of Turkish descent to not vote for Merkel’s CDU, the Social-democrats and the Greens. German politicians responded with fury to Erdogan’s remarks.