Greek Coast Guard reported that about 400 asylum seekers arrived at Greece’s easternmost island in the last two days. There are approximately 21 thousand people currently waiting for their asylum application to be processed at the registration centers on the Greek islands of Kos, Samos, Chios and Lesbos.
There were about 5 thousand 800 people in Greek refugee camps at the time when the European Union’s refugee agreement with Turkey had entered into force in March 2016.
The conservative government of Kyriakos Mikotakis, who came to power in Greece after winning the elections last month after Aleksis Tsipras, wants to speed up the process of assessing and deciding asylum applications. For this purpose, more personnel will be assigned to the islands.
Giorgos Koumoutsakos, Deputy Minister for Migration Policies, noted that the situation in the camps that serve as registry centres had become intolerable, and added that more staff would be deployed on the islands to accelerate the process. Currently, it can usually take two years to settle asylum applications.