Lesvos mayor pleads for help with migrant influx

Lesvos Mayor Spyros Galinos wrote to the government on Wednesday to warn that authorities on the eastern Aegean island are struggling to deal with the influx of undocumented migrants and refugees and expressing concern that locals may soon start reacting against the situation.

Galinos informed the government that some 2,500 people are being looked after on the island, which is about 1,000 more than Lesvos’s one reception center and another makeshift facility are able to cope with. The mayor claimed that the number of people arriving each day is rising rapidly. On Wednesday, almost 500 people were picked up by local coast guard officers.

“We have taken on duties beyond the scope of our responsibility in order to protect residents and our island’s image from a situation that is gradually getting out of control,” said Galinos in his letter. “At the same time, we are waiting for backup from the central government but there is a great delay.”