Ferries tied up for second day as islands appeal for help with refugees


The Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation (PNO), which was on the second day of a 24-hour strike on Tuesday leaving ferry boats tied up at port, is due to discuss whether to resume bringing refugees from the islands to the mainland.

A request was filed with PNO on Monday by Alternate Minister for Immigration Policy Yiannis Mouzalas and Minister of Shipping and Island Policy Thodoris Dritsas. They want the union to green-light the boats used by the government to ferry thousands of refugees and migrants packed on the islands of the eastern Aegean to the ports of Piraeus, near Athens, and Kavala, near the northern Greek border.

The union’s executive committee was due to meet midday on Tuesday to discuss the request as authorities on the islands warn that an interruption in ferry services could make management of the refugee inflows impossible.