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Greek Government Plan to Delay Refugees on the Islands Until Camps are Ready

Dritsas_refuA plan to decelerate the arrival of refugees from the islands to Greece’s mainland has been confirmed by Shipping Minister Theodoros Dritsas.
According to the “migrant delay plan,” ferries will not be making their scheduled routes for three days, thereby keeping the refugees on the islands for three days. Dritsas outlined the plan on national broadcaster ERT on Friday morning.
The minister said that this is not a permanent measure but it would apply for three to four days until more hospitality centers open in Athens and other parts of Greece. He also said that this doesn’t mean the government aims at creating congestion on the islands, or keeping migrants there longer than necessary.
The deceleration plan applies mainly for the islands of Lesbos, Chios and Samos. Shipping companies have been asked to have one ship per island to host refugees for three to four days before sailing to Piraeus Port.
On Thursday, passenger ferry companies have been asked to cut the number of passengers in half when servicing the islands that have refugee registration centers.
However, this has caused a problem to islands with hotspots as refugees and migrants crowd the ports asking why they have to wait while ferries depart half-empty.
Islands such as Kos and Lesbos have thousands of refugees standing by, while they have been told that they won’t stay on the island for more than 48 hours after registration. Hundreds of migrants are already crowding the ports of the two islands demanding to be transferred to the mainland and then to the border.

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