As authorities seek to improve living conditions for migrants at reception centers around the country amid forecasts of another cold snap later this week, a 20-year-old Afghan man died of hypothermia early on Tuesday after crossing the Evros River in northern Greece.
The man’s body was found in a field near the Greek border town of Didymoteicho after police were alerted by another Afghan who said he had traveled with him across the river.
Temperatures in the area plunged to -14 Celsius (7 Fahrenheit) on Monday night and are expected to drop even further from Thursday.
Authorities near the Turkish border have seen an increase in migrants crossing into Greece’s Evros region amid a crackdown on people smuggling in the Aegean as part of an agreement between Turkey and the European Union.
On the Aegean islands, where thousands of migrants live in substandard conditions at reception centers, there are fears that an increase in cases of flu will be exacerbated by the worsening weather.
Although large numbers of refugees have been transferred to reception facilities on the mainland, thousands more remain in overcrowded camps on the islands.
Another state-run facility in Elliniko, southern Athens, had been slated for closure months ago but remains open, prompting complaints by local officials.
On Tuesday Elliniko Mayor Ioannis Konstantatos called on Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas to intervene and arrange for the transfer of migrants elsewhere