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56,000 migrants arrive in Greece in one week

 

November 2015

More than 56,000 migrants desperate to reach Europe before winter sets in arrive in Greece in one week, the highest total of 2015.

More migrants and refugees have braved the Mediterranean crossing from Turkey to Greece last week than ever before, despite worsening weather conditions, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) announced yesterday.

In the last six days, more than 56,000 people, mostly Syrians, were recorded arriving on Lesbos, Chios and other Greek islands, the highest weekly total of the year.

The figures are raising fears of more drownings in heavy seas and worsening health risks to survivors who arrive cold and wet as temperatures drop.

Meanwhile, the prospect of the flow of refugees heading across southern and eastern Europe in ever greater numbers is worsening European Union arguments about how to manage them.

Germany’s chanceller, Angela Merkel, who caused shock-waves by guaranteeing asylum to Syrians who made it there, has authorised a tougher new policy starting from this week.

Those from other countries adjudged to be economic migrants will be deported much more quickly, while those from countries considered safe, including Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro, will be rejected automatically.

"We want to get better quickly, within the year, at deporting those whose applications have been refused and who have no right to stay," Peter Altmaier, the national refugee co-ordinator, said.

 

Greek Tribune

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