The Greek Coast Guard in the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos was forced to use even stun grenades to push back an angry crowd of refugees demanding to sail to Athens.
About 1,000 refugees, mainly from Afghanistan, attempted to embark on the Blue Star 1 ferry shouting “Athens, Athens”. The same time hundreds of passengers were trapped between the desperate migrants and the ship.
Lesvos is one of the eastern Aegean Greek islands that has seen thousands of migrants and refugees crossing from Turkey in frail boats in the hope of traveling to Europe.
Thousands of refugees, have been trapped in the port of Mytilene, Lesvos for weeks unable to get the necessary documents in order to travel to northern Europe.
According to the general secretary of Lesvos municipality, Eleftherios Papaioanou, the migrants have already been relocated to the two temporary detention centers of the island. “We hope to arrange the transportation of the migrants in the detention camps by Friday night”, he said.
The mayor of Lesvos, Spyros Galinos, said, talking to Greek national television, “We are at the point zero, right before the explosion. Untill this moment we have recorded around 8,000 migrants on the island, who are waiting to leave for Athens. The ships are not enough. We don’t just need more ships. We need a fleet.”