Greek authorities say the coast guard has picked up 216 people in the Aegean Sea who entered the country illegally by sailing from the Turkish coast to nearby islands overnight, raising the total this week to more than 1,500.
The people were rescued in eight incidents near the islands of Kos, Lesbos and Chios, but it was not immediately clear where they were from, the coast guard said Thursday.
Greece and Italy are the main points of entry into the European Union for refugees and economic migrants from the Middle East and Africa hoping to reach the more prosperous countries of the north. About 30,000 have arrived in Greece so far this year.
Financially crippled Greece has called for more help from the EU to deal with the influx. [AP]