Greece + 13 more

Winter Operations Cell (Updated March 8, 2016 12:32 PM)

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Arrivals and Departures: In Greece, 5,245 refugees and migrants, currently present on the islands of Lesvos (3,550), Chios (1,422) and Samos (273), are to depart to the mainland. On 5 March, 50 Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals were sent to the temporary accommodation facilities in Xanthi in northeastern Greece, pending their return to Turkey.

According to Eurostats, 1.2 million people applied for asylum in the EU in 2015, more than double that of 2014. Afghan, Iraqi and Syrian nationals accounted for more than half of applicants. The largest number of applications were lodged in Germany (441,800), followed by Hungary (174,400) and Sweden (156,100), amongst others.

Condition of People: Some 36,000 refugees and migrants remain in Greece according to Government sources, while the Hellenic Red Cross estimates 50,000 people present in country. Greek authorities will set up 15 new temporary accommodation facilities by 15 March, with a total capacity for 17,500 people.

Situation at border crossings: The Greek Foreign Ministry delivered a demarche to both the governments of Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia warning that bilateral relations might be affected unless the two states allow entry to the refugees currently present in Greece.

Deaths at Sea: None reported.

Weather Headlines: A very unsettled spell of weather is expected to continue across much of the region through the next week. Waterlogged and muddy ground conditions in northern Greece are expected to persist or deteriorate further as more rain is forecast in the next few days.