Days after European Commission VP Margaritis Schinas met with the Greek government, the citizens of the northern Aegean islands protested on Wednesday (22 January) against the negative impact of the migration crisis on their communities. Island mobilisations are scheduled to continue today (23 January), with the closure of municipal offices and strikes, as declared by many regional trade unions.
Currently, there are more than 50,000 migrants from more than 80 countries populating the islands while waiting to be processed, according to North Aegean Regional Governor Kostas Moutzouris.
The Moria and nearby camps on the island of Lesvos currently accommodate 21,441 people, while the main facilities have a maximum capacity for 3,000. In Samos, there are currently 7,519 migrants, while Chios accommodates 6,007 asylum seekers.
Officials from the migration ministry estimate that there are some 87,000 outstanding asylum applications and some 38,000 appeals pending across the country. Although they are trying to speed up the process, they are still far away from their target to finalise asylum applications within 28 days. (Theodore Karaoulanis | EURACTIV.gr)