Thousands of refugees arrive at Greek port of Piraeus

Thousands of refugees arrive in mainland Greece as government prepares to discuss ways to reduce number of people coming into country

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Refugees are seen on a bus following their arrival from the island of Lesbos to the port of Piraeus, near Athens

More than 4,200 refugees have reached Greece's main port Piraeus by two ships late on Tuesday night, as an influx of refugees into the European Union (EU) continues.

An estimated 23,000 refugees, mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan arrived in Greece last week, according to Frontex. The number indicated a 50 percent increase in comparison to the previous week.

More than 234,000 refugees have arrived in Greece since the start of the year, according to the Internarional Organisation for Migration (IOM).

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, two boats with 22 refugees travelling from Turkey to the Greek island Kos sank, killing 11 Syrian refugee.

Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos asked his French counterpart, President Francois Hollande to discuss the refugee influx which Greece is facing at a senior European level, the BBC reported.

Furthermore, 1,744 refugees arrived in the port of Piraeus, near Athens late on Tuesday, travelling from Lesbos, an island not far from Turkey. 

"You have to help us. We are human," Isham a teacher and Syrian refugee, protested loudly, Reuters reported upon arrival.

According to Kathimerini newspaper, last week 17,500 refugees have registered in the Greek island Lesbos.

A migrant holds a baby as he steps on a bus following their arrival from the island of Lesbos to the port of Piraeus, near Athens

Over 350,000 refugees crossed the Mediterranean this year, in an attempt to enter Europe, as they flee conditions of war and poverty.

The IOM says that more than 2,600 refugees have died while trying to cross the sea by using primitive boats. The agency reported that 234,778 people have made it to Greece, 114,276 made it to Italy, 2,166 debarked in Spain and 94 arrived in Malta by September 1.

The enormous number of refugees that have already crossed the Mediterranean Sea, far exceeds last year's number, which was 219,000 in total for the year 2014.

TRTWorld and agencies