More than 250 refugees and migrants of various nationalities that belong to vulnerable groups like families with children, women who are alone, elderly and people with disabilities boarded a ferry from Lesvos to Piraeus on Wednesday night.
The move was organized by the ministry of migration policy to evacuate as many vulnerable refugees and migrants as possible from the island ahead of winter.
Speaking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), Minister Yiannis Mouzalas said the effort will “intensify” in the coming days.
When they reach Piraeus in the morning, refugees will be transferred by buses rented by UNHCR to accommodation centers supported by the agency in the mainland.
According to information, the government plans to transfer about 3,000 people from Lesvos to the mainland by December 10, while similar actions will also be taken for other islands. About 8,500 refugees and migrants are currently stuck on Lesvos.
Amid the pressure and the tension both for the local community and the refugees and migrants, unidentified perpetrators vandalized a monument dedicated to those refugees who lost their lives while they were trying to reach Lesvos during the years 2012-2013.
The thugs threw black paint over the names of the people who found a tragic death in the waters of the eastern Aegean Sea. The monument is in Thermi.