Greece faces new migration wave

Greece intends to reinforce border patrols, move asylum-seekers from its islands to the mainland and speed up deportations in an effort to deal with a resurgence in migrant flows mostly from Afghanistan, using Turkey as a transit country.

The government’s Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence convened on August 31  for an emergency session after the arrival this week of more than a dozen migrant boats carrying around 600 people, the first simultaneous arrival of its kind in three years.

The increase in arrivals has caused an additional pressure on Greece’s overcrowded island camps, all of which are operating at least twice their capacity.

Moria camp on the island of Lesbos (Greece) – a facility where conditions have been described by aid organizations as inhumane – is also holding the largest number of people since the deal between the EU and Turkey was agreed.

The government said it would move asylum-seekers to mainland facilities, increase border surveillance together with the EU  border patrol agency Frontex and NATO, and boost police patrols across Greece to identify rejected asylum seekers who have remained in the country.

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