Over 4,200 refugees arrive in Piraeus port

Athens, Sep 2 (IANS/EFE) More than 4,200 refugees have arrived in the last 12 hours at the port of Piraeus in Athens aboard two ferries, in a new operation for transporting refugees from the Aegean Islands.

Both ferries arrived from the island of Lesbos, with the first ferry arriving on Tuesday night with 1,749 people on board, while the second reached the island on Wednesday morning with 2,459 refugees.

The refugees who arrived on Tuesday night immediately went to bus stations to head north of the country to cross the border with Macedonia as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, over 100 refugees who failed to head northwards, spent Tuesday night in the open in Victoria Square in the centre of Athens, as the refugee reception centre, which has accommodation for 720 people, was already full.

Refugees with sufficient funds stayed in low-cost hotels in central Athens.

More than 180,000 refugees have arrived in Greece since the beginning of 2015, according to data released by the UN Refugees Agency (UNHCR).

The refugees travel from the Turkish Aegean coast to the islands of Kos, Kalymnos, Leros, Samos and Lesvos on board inflatable boats and other vessels.

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