Migrant arrivals on Greek islands up by 50 pct, says Vitsas


Migrant arrivals on Greece’s Aegean islands are up by 50 percent compared to last year, Migration Minister Dimitris Vitsas said in Parliament Friday describing conditions on Lesvos and Samos islands as “critical.”

Responding to a question by independent lawmaker Haris Theocharis about conditions on the islands, particularly at the notorious Moria hotspot on Lesvos, Vitsas blamed the situation on increased refugee flows as well as the closure of borders in the Balkan route.

Vitsas added that 3,300 asylum-seekers crossed into Greece through the Evros border in 2016, whereas the number climbed to 5,500 in 2017 and to 12,000 so far in 2018.