Number of refugees on islands to drop to 10,000 in September, says minister


The number of refugees and migrants trapped on the islands of the eastern Aegean will drop from 17,000 to 10,000 in September, Migration Minister Dimitris Vitsas said on Monday, speaking to state-run broadcaster ERT.

Vitsas said the government plans to speed up the asylum procedure, transport vulnerable refugees to the mainland and return those who do not apply or qualify for asylum to Turkey.

Through these policies, he said he expects the number of refugees living in the over-cramped identification centre in Moria to fall from 7,000 to about half in September.