Germany Ready to Assist Greece in Tackling Migrant Arrivals

FILE - Refugees and migrants arrive at the port of Thessaloniki, northern Greece, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

BERLIN (AP) — The German government says it is closely watching as the number of migrants reaching the Greek islands has seen a jump.

Government spokeswoman Martina Fietz said the increase in migrants coming to the islands by sea “needs to be taken seriously.” But she also stressed Friday that the latest arrival numbers are significantly lower than during the 2015-2016 surge in mass migration to Europe.

Germany took in the biggest share of migrants from that influx. The flow to Greece dropped when the European Union reached a deal with Turkey to prevent sea crossings.

Fietz says Germany stands ready to assist Greece now through the European Union and bilaterally.

Workers at an overcrowded migrant camp on the island of Lesbos were attacked by young migrants Wednesday demanding transfers to the mainland.

A migrant girl stands at the fence of the port of Thessaloniki, northern Greece, Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. About 1,500 asylum-seekers were being transported from Greece’s eastern Aegean island of Lesbos to the mainland Monday as part of government efforts to tackle massive overcrowding in refugee camps and a recent spike in the number of people arriving from the nearby Turkish coast. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

Refugees and migrants arrive at the port of Thessaloniki, northern Greece, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. A ship carrying more than 780 asylum-seekers who had been in a camp on the eastern Aegean island of Lesbos has arrived in Greece’s northern port of Thessaloniki, as part of government efforts to ease severe overcrowding and tackle a recent increase in new arrivals on the islands. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)
Refugees and migrants arrive at the port of Thessaloniki, northern Greece, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. A ship carrying more than 780 asylum-seekers who had been in a camp on the eastern Aegean island of Lesbos has arrived in Greece’s northern port of Thessaloniki, as part of government efforts to ease severe overcrowding and tackle a recent increase in new arrivals on the islands. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

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