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Thursday, December 14, 2017, 

Greece ferries thousands of refugees from the islands to the mainland

Greece ferries thousands of refugees from the islands to the mainland

Athens, 22 August 2015 (MIA) - Greek media report that the country continues to ship groups of refugees and migrants from its Aegean islands onto the mainland in Athens or in northern Greece, and directing them toward the border with Macedonia.

Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos was pelted with rocks and eggs during his visit to the island of Kos, which sees a large daily influx of refugees from near-by Turkey. Kos was the site of the most tense confrontations between Greek police and the refugees, during attempts to move the refugees in a sports stadium and prevent them from moving freely across the island. The hard-line nationalist Minister, who once boasted he will flood Europe with refugees and Islamists if Greece doesn't receive financial support, was attacked by the islanders who demand faster removal of the refugees to the mainland.

Greece estimates that 160.000 refugees crossed illegally from Turkey during this year, making it the top European destination for refugees, together with Italy. A ferry with 2.200 refugees from the islands arrived in the Athens port on Friday.

The Greek response is to move the refugees northwards, toward the border with Macedonia, where they cross illegally and try to reach the border with Serbia, and ultimately Hungary, where they can use the Schengen free travel arrangement. Macedonia closed the border for uncontrolled illegal entry on Thursday.cc/12:59

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