Tensions rise in Kos as authorities struggle with increasing migrant arrivals

Tensions rise in Kos as authorities struggle with increasing migrant arrivals
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Arriving daily in their hundreds, migrants can be seen celebrating as they reach the Greek island of Kos.

Local authorities are working around the clock to register the new arrivals and to diffuse rising tensions in overcrowded reception areas.

Mainly of Syrian origin, the migrants are sent to a local stadium or to the newly-arrived El Venizelos cruise liner, which is intended to house up to 3,000 people. There, they hope to be issued with papers allowing them to stay in Europe.

Syrian refugee Abdul El Messiyah said he was fleeing the self-proclaimed Islamic State Group:
“I wasn’t hoping to leave Syria at all but you know ISIS (Islamic State group) didn’t leave us a place. We hope to reach somewhere we can just live in. A country that can accept us as we are. Christians, no weapons, no killing, no nothing.”

An estimated 140,000 migrants have arrived in Greece so far this year. Many make their way to Bodrum in Turkey, before taking the 15-kilometre boat ride over to Kos.

Once they are registered, they are taken by boat to a port near the Greek capital, from which many hope to reach northern Europe.

Athens is struggling to cope and earlier this week the European Commission approved aid for Greece amounting to 474 million euros.

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