Greece to start registereing more migrants on islands
Feb 17, Athens: With the demand from EU, Greece is to start registering migrants at four new reception centres on islands near Turkey. Five were supposed to have been completed by the end of last year. The fifth - on Kos - is not yet ready, media reports.
Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos visited the new centres on Tuesday and called "hotspots" on Leros and Chios. Two more are on Lesbos and Samos.
Converted shipping containers and prefab shelters are being used to house thousands of migrants on the Greek islands. The EU says they must all be registered there and fingerprinted before going anywhere else.
Last year more than 850,000 migrants - mostly refugees fleeing war and abuses in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan - entered Greece as a gateway to the EU.
Greece has been heavily criticised by EU partners for failing to register many of the migrants before they travel north through the EU. Germany is the target destination for most of them.
Last week the EU set Greece a deadline of three months to fix its border controls, amid fears of another migration surge from Turkey when the weather improves, BBC news reported.
The crisis has put the EU's Schengen passport-free travel zone at risk. One after another, Schengen countries have imposed temporary border controls.
The Oslo Times