Greece wants ‘fairer EU distribution of migrants’

Athens on Monday called on the EU for a fairer sharing of the migrant burden amid deep concerns over a sharp increase in arrivals on some islands in recent weeks, AFP reported.

“Since July 7, there has not been a single day without arrivals,” Deputy Minister for Citizen Protection Giorgios Koumoutsakos told the daily Kathimerini.

On five Aegean islands close to Turkey – Lesbos, Samos, Chios, Kos and Leros – “the total number of refugees and migrants has exceeded 20,000,” according to the minister, who is responsible for migration policy in Greece’s new conservative government.“This constitutes an increase of 17 percent in a few weeks.”

Greece has exhausted its capacity on the issue and is looking forward to efficient cooperation with the European Commission and the member states, the minister said.