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Migrants Breach Patra Security to Reach Ferries for Italy

January 10, 2018

So many migrants are trying to sneak onto ferry boats to Italy from Greece’s second largest-city and major port of Patra that the situation is out of control, the Coast Guard said.

An officer who was not identified told the newspaper Kathimerini that hundreds of them try to jump barbed wire fences and swarm the port that authorities can’t contain them although it wasn’t indicated how they got on the ships.

The officer said the situation is “barely manageable,” and that “Safeguarding the port’s security is a battle,” with potential stowaways squatting in abandoned buildings around the port waiting for their chance.

“For the umpteenth time, we are asking for immediate and drastic solutions before it is too late,” the Hellenic Coast Guard workers’ union said after an officer was injured while trying to prevent a group of migrants from forcing their way aboard a ferry.

That came after human rights activists called for a probe into injuries sustained by  at least two of the dozens of migrants who attempt to scale the port facility’s fence every week.

Police and coast guard authorities have already increased patrols along the streets surrounding the facility and urge motorists to slow down a street across from the ferry landings where the refugees scramble for the boats.

There are more than 64,000 refugees and migrants in Greece, including some 15,000 on islands where they were sent by human traffickers in Turkey after going to that country to escape war and strife and economic problems in their own countries.

The European Union, reneging on promises to help Greece, has closed its borders to them and many resort to trying to escape Greece via land or by sea, with Italy a favored destination.

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