Greece orders islands to slow migrant traffic

ATHENS, Greece - Greece's government on Friday ordered authorities on islands near Turkey to reduce the number of migrants allowed to travel by ferry to the mainland, where thousands of people are stranded in increasingly desperate conditions following border closures in the countries to the north.

See Full Article

Ferry companies and regional authorities were handed the instructions as the number of people stranded in Greece continues to rise, with thousands sleeping rough in parks and along the country's highways, and existing shelters filled to capacity.

In Athens, migrants staged peaceful protests, briefly blocking traffic at the country's main port, while hundreds walked out of a transit camp and were heading on foot to the city centre.

Merchant Marine Minister Theodoros Dritsas said up to two thirds of migrants arriving on Lesbos and other Greek islands would be held there until Sunday.

"The reason is that we need more time to prepare additional sites for temporary shelters," Dritsas said.

He said chartered ferries would be used on islands to provide temporary shelter over the next three days.

About 2,000 people - more than half from Syria and Iraq - are arriving daily from Turkey using dinghies and small boats, but the number of people crossing into neighbouring Macedonia has dropped dramatically in the past week, and was down to just 150 on Thursday, according to Greek police figures.

Athens is blaming Austria for the flare-up in the crisis after it imposed strict transit restrictions last week, controls that were also implemented by Balkan countries further back on the route.

Greece recalled its ambassador to Austria Thursday and rejected a request to visit Athens by Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner, government officials said.

Athens says it is unable to stop migrants crossing its sea borders without endangering their lives.

"The policies of Austria and Hungary are turning Greece into a giant refugee camp," deputy Education Minister Sia Anagnostoipoulou told state-run NET television.

"What are we supposed to do: Let people drown in the Aegean Sea?" she said. "Instead of making a plan. Europe is burying its head in the sand ... Europe is unraveling."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Emergency rescue frees stranded trucker after bridge collapse

    Canada News CTV News
    A truck driver was left stranded in the cab of his vehicle after the bridge he was travelling on collapsed into a creek on Friday. The nail-biting mishap took place in Port Bruce, Ont. Source
  • New paternity leave planned in budget aims to get women into workforce

    Canada News CBC News
    Introducing a new incentive for fathers to take parental leave has largely been driven by the government's attempt to promote gender equality, including allowing women to return to work after having a baby, according to a cabinet minister who oversaw the consultations. Source
  • N.L. woman who admitted to killing man with hammer found not criminally responsible

    Canada News CBC News
    Anne Norris has been found not criminally responsible for killing Marcel Reardon on May 9, 2016. Norris, 30, admitted at the first day of her first-degree murder trial to killing Reardon by hitting him repeatedly in the head with a hammer. Source
  • Charged 'Putin's chef' runs news sites along with troll army

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- He's been indicted in the U.S. for meddling in the 2016 presidential election with an army of trolls and his private military company has trodden battlefields in Ukraine and Syria. Still, the Russian multimillionaire dubbed "Putin's chef" runs yet another asset that is valuable to the Kremlin: a sprawling Russian media empire. Source
  • Stranded U.S. sailors help out at Montreal mission

    Canada News CTV News
    A crew of American sailors who found themselves stranded in Montreal because of ice in the St. Lawrence River decided to make the best of their unexpected shore leave and lent a hand at a local homeless shelter. Source
  • Horwath tries to break through chaotic Ontario political scene with tour

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The leader of Ontario's New Democrats announced a pre-election swing through the province Friday in an effort to divert attention away from the Progressive Conservatives, who have dominated headlines with a fierce leadership race she likened to a train wreck. Source
  • After years of dejection, proponents of gun laws see hope

    World News CTV News
    Nikolas Cruz appears in court for a status hearing before Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Monday, Feb. 19, 2018. Cruz is charged with killing 17 people and wounding many others in Wednesday's attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, which he once attended. Source
  • EU and Russia vie for influence in volatile Balkans region

    World News CTV News
    BELGRADE, Serbia -- For years, Russia has worked to gain influence in Southeast Europe, using Serbia as a foothold to establish a friendly pocket on a hostile continent. The European Union finally is pushing back. Source
  • Politician: Ex-Austrian chancellor part of Manafort lobbying

    World News CTV News
    MINSK, Belarus -- A Ukrainian opposition lawmaker who helped uncover off-the-books payments to U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman said Saturday that a one-time Austrian chancellor was among the European politicians secretly paid to lobby for Ukraine. Source
  • Female Nobel laureates in Bangladesh to meet Rohingya women

    World News CBC News
    Three female Nobel Peace laureates have begun a week-long trip to Bangladesh to meet Rohingya women who say they were tortured and raped by Myanmar soldiers before fleeing the country. During the trip that began Saturday, Iran's Shirin Ebadi, Yemen's Tawakkol Karman and Northern Ireland's Mairead Maguire will assess the Rohingya refugees' situation and the violence against the Rohingya women, according to the Nobel Women's Initiative, a platform of six female peace laureates established in…