Authorities on the eastern Aegean islands have renewed requests to the central government to relocate hundreds of migrants to the mainland, as populations on Lesvos, Chios and Samos has risen to 16,334 from 10,349 this time last year. In total a 55% increase.

“It has to be understood that the decongestion of the islands is an urgent necessity,” the regional governor for the northern Aegean, Christina Kalogirou, told Kathimerini.

She noted that Migration Minister Dimitris Vitsas had pledged to reduce the number of migrants on the islands to 10,000 by September.