Hundreds of migrants arrive in Greece over four-day period

More than 600 refugees and migrants have arrived on the Greek islands from Turkey over the last four days, 280 of whom reached the country's shores by boat in the past 24 hours, the Greek refugee coordinating body announced Tuesday.

One week earlier, Greece recorded 90 arrivals in the same time period.

The situation between refugees and Greek authorities remains tense on the islands. A total of 14,600 migrants remain in limbo on the islands of Lesbos, Chios, Kos, Leros and Samos - nearly double the number who can be accommodated in the islands' refugee camps.

According to a migration deal agreed to by the European Union and Turkey, the refugees are supposed to be sent back to Turkey. Before that happens, however, they are able to apply for asylum.

Low staffing and the large number of applications have slowed authorities' ability to process asylum bids and send migrants back to Turkey. Greek judges have also repeatedly granted asylum requests based on the notion that refugees in Turkey are not safe.

Both the migrants and local residents protest the conditions at the camps, where conflicts and clashes continue to occur. There is fear of an escalation of the situation on Chios, where the total number of refugees has risen to more than 4,000 people - four times as many as the 1,000 places the islands' two camps can hold.

Last update: Tue, 04/10/2016 - 11:41
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