Ferries idle for fourth day, trapping refugees


Greek ferries are tied up in port for a fourth day, stranding tens of thousands of residents of small islands, preventing agricultural produce from reaching mainland markets and trapping thousands of refugees on eastern Aegean islands.

The anti-austerity strike, which began Monday, was to continue until Friday morning. Pressure has mounted on the seamen's union to allow exceptions for ferries chartered to transport the refugees and other migrants who reach Greek islands from the nearby Turkish coast.

So far more than 600,000 people have reached Greece from Turkey this year, with the vast majority aiming to move on to more prosperous countries in the European Union's north. After receiving registration papers on the islands, the refugees take ferries to the mainland, from where they head to the northern border.