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Greek Mayors Request Meeting with PM Tsipras to Discuss Refugee Issue

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after traveling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece.

Photo © UNHCR/A.McConnell

The mayors of five Greek islands — Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros — that are under pressure due to refugee flows have requested to meet with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras next week in Athens, press reports said on Monday.

According to reports, Lesvos Mayor Spyros Galinos sent a letter to Tsipras on behalf of the mayors of the five islands and requested a meeting “to find a sustainable solution for the islands that bear the burden of the refugee crisis”.

The mayors wish for the Greek PM to to inform them on “common positions regarding the refugee crisis in the context of willingness to cooperate for the benefit of the islands.”

Last year’s bookings on the five Greek islands were reportedly down due to refugee flows.

The mayors have requested to meet with the prime minister on Monday, January 23.

Moreover, after the meeting with Tsipras, the five mayors are expected to give a joint press conference in the afternoon of the same day at the offices of the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE) in Athens.

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