Refugee arrivals in Greece surge with bad weather ahead: IOM

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 09, 2015 5:24 AM

GENEVA (Reuters) - There has been a surge in refugees arriving on Greek islands in the past week, with 7,000 landing each day against 4,500 at the end of September, which may be linked to worsening weather, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Friday.

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres will go to Lesbos, one of the main entry points for people coming by sea from Turkey, on Saturday and hold talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens in coming days, spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told a news briefing.

The UNHCR welcomed the start of an EU relocation program, with 19 asylum seekers leaving Italy for Sweden, and hoped relocation would start soon for refugees in Greece, she said. "We think it will be a slow start but will accelerate once the process functions."

(This version corrects source in headline to IOM, not UNHCR)

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Kevin Liffey)