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

  • Ontario ticket claims $5M Lotto 649 jackpot

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - Saturday night's $5 million Lotto 649 draw was claimed by a ticket sold in Ontario. And the guaranteed $1 million prize went to a ticket holder in Quebec. The jackpot for the next draw on Sept. Source
  • Airlines rev up to offer discount airfares — but don't be blinded by the price, say experts

    Canada News CBC News
    Canadian airlines are lining up to offer the latest trend in air travel: cheap, no-frills fares. But passengers should be careful what they wish for. That's because some may find the discount fares so stripped down, they're just not worth it. Source
  • B.C. joins national trend to clean up political fundraising — and we're paying for it

    Canada News CBC News
    British Columbia is introducing political contribution limits, banning union and corporate donations and asking taxpayers to make up the difference, bringing the province in line with fundraising rules in most other jurisdictions in Canada. Political fundraising in B.C. Source
  • 'Quintessential British treasure:' What next for London's disappearing phone booths?

    World News CBC News
    Like a throwback to a bygone era, bright red phone booths still line the streets of London's central tourist area. These days, they serve much less as a means of communication than as a backdrop for visitors' photos. Source
  • Edmonton Liberian community mourns 3 killed in collision with stolen truck

    Canada News CTV News
    Family, friends and members of Edmonton’s Liberian community are mourning the deaths of three women who were killed in a collision that involved a stolen truck. Jeannette Wright, Glorious Decontee David, Eva Fatu Tumbay and Janet Wright Gaye were on a road trip to visit family and friends in Minnesota when their minivan was struck around 3 a.m. Source
  • RCMP called off chase of stolen truck before 3 killed in crash near Alberta-Sask. border

    Canada News CBC News
    RCMP in Saskatchewan say it called off the police pursuit of a stolen truck that ended up colliding with a minivan and killing three women from Edmonton. On Thursday morning, officers in Maidstone, Sask. Source
  • Prince of the city

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Step aside, John Tory. The real prince of this town has red hair and a cheeky smile. Prince Harry — in Toronto for his Invictus Games — charmed, dazzled, joked, empathized, hugged children, petted dogs and truly lived up to his title as the People’s Prince. Source
  • Iran tests ballistic missile and 'we won't ask anyone's permission'

    World News CBC News
    Iran said on Saturday it had successfully tested a new ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 kilometres and would keep developing its arsenal despite U.S. pressure to stop. The United States has imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, saying its missile tests violate a UN resolution, which calls on Tehran not to undertake activities related to missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Source
  • Ugo Fredette now in Saint-Jérôme detention centre, police say

    Canada News CBC News
    Ugo Fredette is now in a detention centre in Saint-Jérôme after spending nearly a week in two Ontario hospitals and a Quebec hospital, after he was arrested last week in connection with an Amber Alert case. Source
  • Damage in Puerto Rico strains relief efforts by agencies

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Federal agencies grappled Saturday with the vast scale of the disaster in Puerto Rico left by Hurricane Maria, the third major storm to strike the U.S. in less than a month. Three days after the massive hurricane crossed the U.S. Source