Despite a dip in arrivals of migrants from Turkey in recent months, the number of asylum seekers in Greece is significant, totaling 120,000, according to data from the United Nations refugee agency that was made public on Wednesday.
Of the total, 39,700 are on Aegean islands with 80,300 on the mainland. Revealing the figures on Wednesday, the UNHCR’s representative in Greece, Philippe Leclerc, urged authorities and citizens not to treat asylum seekers differently to others because of the pandemic. “We are all in the same boat,” he said.
After more than a month of zero arrivals on the islands, a smuggling boat carrying 51 people reached Lesvos early on Wednesday.
Meanwhile there are concerns about opposition to the relocation of migrants to the mainland.
On Tuesday night, assailants set a fire in a hotel in Arnissa, in the northern region of Pella, which is to host migrants.