NEWS

At least 10,000 migrants to be ferried to mainland in next five days, minister says

TAGS: Migration

Greece's migration minister has said at least two-thirds of the estimated 15,000-18,000 refugees and economic migrants stranded in "miserable" conditions on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos will be ferried to the mainland in the next five days.

Giannis Mouzalas told state ERT1 TV extra ferries were laid on Monday to transport the migrants, while some ships will serve as temporary screening and reception centers.

Lesvos bears the brunt of the refugee influx, with more than 1,000 arriving daily on frail boats from nearby Turkey. Most remain stuck there for days, sleeping outdoors until they can be identified, and then find berths on crowded ferries to the mainland.

Greece's caretaker government, appointed ahead of elections Sept. 20, has set the problem as its main priority, significantly improving its predecessors' stumbling efforts to deal with the influx. [AP]

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