The Greek government is considering a plan to limit the number of refugees and would-be migrants using normal ferry boats to get to the Greek mainland from a handful of islands in the eastern Aegean “targeted” by people-smugglers operating from the opposite Turkish coast.
According to the relevant merchant marine minister, another consideration is to use vessels as temporary shelter for the thousands of third country nationals still landing on Greek territory, part of the ongoing and increasing serious Mideast refugee / migrant crisis faced by the EU.
Minister Thodoris Dritsas cited the plan in television appearances on Friday morning, saying the idea is to delay continued arrivals to the mainland in order to give Greek authorities enough time to establish new shelters and so-called “hot spots” around the country.
The leftist Greek government is being pressured by its European partners and the opposition to better handle the continuing flow of people landing on the islands from Turkey, whose government has appeared mostly unwilling to stop the flow from its shores.
Dritsas said ferry boat service for the islanders will be unaffected.