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Greece's Other Crisis: Refugees

Families fleeing war and poverty stretch Greek resources
Fresh off the boat from Turkey, Afghan refugees rest by a Lesbos roadside en route to Mytilene
Fresh off the boat from Turkey, Afghan refugees rest by a Lesbos roadside en route to MytilenePhotograph by Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg

At 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 8, Greek Coast Guard Ensign Chrisafis Theofilos’s boat got a report of a migrant drowning off the island of Lesbos. Theofilos sped south only to find that another Coast Guard boat had saved the man and taken him to the hospital. It was one more incident on the front lines of Greece’s other crisis: the influx of illegal immigrants and war refugees from Afghanistan and Syria. The drowned bodies of at least 18 people trying to enter Greece were found off Lesbos on Dec. 15. “It’s endless, endless,” Theofilos says.

Patrols along Greece's fenced land border with Turkey have been increased by 1,900 police officers