2,000 migrants to be transferred off Greek islands in March


Greek authorities will transfer 2,000 migrants and refugees off the islands of the eastern Aegean in March, Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis said in Parliament on Thursday.

Mitarakis was speaking during a debate on an amendment that obliges migrants who have been granted asylum to leave the camps and ends their financial support.

"The government has a strategy and a plan, and this big and difficult problem will be resolved within 2020," he told lawmakers.

He also said there are about 11,200 migrants currently receiving financial aid though they no longer qualify for it, of which 1,000 are still on the islands along with another 1,000 who have lived there since 2018. 

From the start of the year, a total of 6,174 migrants and refugees have left the islands, with the number expexted to reach nearly 10,000 within the first quarter of 2020, including those who entered the country as of March 1.