A recent spike in refugee and migrant arrivals from Turkey onto Greek shores is raising concerns among authorities on Greece’s eastern Aegean islands, Skai reported on Tuesday, also quoting sources saying that hundreds are gathered on the coast of Izmir waiting to make the passage that will bring them into European Union territory.
According to Skai, 160 migrants and refugees have landed on Lesvos in the past five days, marking an increase after a few weeks of almost no arrivals, bringing the total number being hosted on the island to just under 4,000 and stretching resources.
In Samos, recent arrivals have come to 64, bringing the island’s total to 954, according to government sources.
The total number of migrants and refugees awaiting processing on the islands of the eastern Aegean on Tuesday was 6,627, authorities said, adding that the country total reached 52,674.
The recent uptick in arrivals suggests that Turkey has relaxed the terms of a deal it signed in March with the European Union to control inflows in exchange for accession talks, sources told Skai.
The same sources over the weekend reported sightings of buses unloading migrants and refugees at a central square in Izmir, as well as large numbers of small boats along the coast.