Amid a seemingly relentless influx of refugees and migrants that is fueling tensions on the islands of the eastern Aegean, Greek authorities on Monday appealed to the European Commission for emergency funding to tackle the problem.
Athens asked for 2.5 million euros in immediate funding to help deal with a burgeoning humanitarian crisis. Natasha Bertaud, a Commission spokesperson for migration, confirmed that the Commission received Greece’s request.
Greek authorities are also said to have appealed to the Commission for another 9.57 million euros to improve the country’s infrastructure, which is woefully inadequate for the temporary accommodation and identification of thousands of refugees and migrants.
The country’s slow-moving public administration has further hampered efforts to find and staff temporary reception centers. Meanwhile, tensions are growing on the islands of the eastern Aegean, where tolerance is fading.
Over the weekend, police clashed with migrants on Lesvos and two teenagers were arrested after throwing homemade firebombs at tents set up by Syrian refugees. Tensions between Syrian and Afghan refugees are growing on Lesvos and other islands too as the latter claim the former are receiving preferential treatment from authorities.
Caretaker Minister for Migration Policy Yiannis Mouzalas told To Vima FM yesterday that Lesvos was “one step before explosion” with between 15,000 and 17,000 refugees waiting on the island for the documents that will allow them to continue their journeys.