Greece, Spain reach agreement for 1,000 migrants to be transferred to Valencia


Regional officials in Greece say they have reached an agreement with the eastern Spanish region of Valencia for the transfer of 1,000 migrants – bypassing the European Union's slow moving relocation system.

Greek islands have been hard hit by Europe's refugee crisis, with more than 800,000 asylum-seekers arriving last year and roughly 4,000 per day so far in 2016.

The South Aegean regional government, which represents several Greek islands, said it had made the agreement with Valencia authorities currently visiting Greece.

The migrants were due to travel by chartered ferry from the island of Leros to Spain, an announcement said.

The governments say the move "sends a message that the refugee problem in Europe can been managed with humanity and enlightenment."