Alarm bells

The situation on the islands of the eastern Aegean has reached a critical point again in regard to the refugee crisis, as the number of people arriving on their shores from the coast of Turkey have spiked over the past few months, worsening conditions at already overcrowded and understaffed facilities, and testing the islanders’ waning patience even further.

The difference this time around, however, is that the increase in arrivals is not getting the kind of attention previous spikes have and is going largely unnoticed in Athens.

This is why local officials on the islands – people who are known for their moderate views and rational management of this huge challenge that has faced them – feel compelled to ring the alarm bells louder than ever before.

They know that unless some serious action is taken right now to reduce the number of asylum seekers trapped on the islands in unsuitable facilities, the consequences will be dire and far-reaching.

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