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Refugees and migrants flows increase again: 566 new arrivals in last five days

Refugees and migrants flow from Turkey to Greece started to rise again. In last five days, a total of 566 people arrived to the Greek islands on boat coming form Turkey. Most affected are the islands of Lesvos, Chios and Samos. It is unclear whether the flow increase is due to fair weather conditions or whether Ankara started to make its threats come true.

Including today’s arrivals of 81 people, the total of number of refugees and migrants arrived to Greece from Thursday to Monday morning increases to 566.

This is more than the total arrivals in the month of march so far and wells as the total arrivals in February.

In the last four days, 195 people arrived on Lesvos, 314 on Chios and 30 to Samos.

According to official data from the General Police Directorate of the northern Aegean, a total of 8,759 people are on the islands of the north and eastern Aegean Sea.

  • 3,485 on Lesvos
  • 3,541 on Chios
  • 1,733 on Samos.

The arrivals of recent days returned the numbers of people stuck on the islands of the Aegean on the same level as at the end of February.

Speaking to Athens News Agency, authorities officials said that they are studying the increased mobility of recent days. Primarily, they see a connection of the flow increase to the improvement of the weather conditions and the withdrawal of the ships from Greek and Turkish fleets that sailed in the area in March due to the tension in the relations between the two neighboring country.

What is worth noting is that the Migration Ministry that publishes a daily bulletin on the new arrivals failed to do so on March 18 and 19th.

Turkey’s statistics

According to statistics issued by the Turkish Coast Guard, a total of 759 people attempting to cross to the islands were intercepted and returned back to Turkey.

The Turkish Coast Guard said that it intervened in 19 case and that four of them took place in the last four days.

Meanwhile, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu let the Europeans know that he was talking of migrants and not refugees when he threatened to send 15,000 per month.

I was not referring to refugees but to illegal immigrants, Soylu said on Monday  arguing that he was referring to those who try to reach other countries by sea anyway.

In the middle of the diplomatic row between Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands Soylu said last week “Turkey could send 15,000 refugees and migrants to Europe to shock the Europeans and “blow their minds.

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