The Latest: Number of migrants reaching Greece surges again

PARIS (AP) — The Latest on the flow of refugees and other migrants into Europe (all times local):

10:50 a.m.

Hundreds of migrants and refugees have arrived on Greek islands after days of low numbers, despite a European Union-Turkey agreement under which new arrivals will be sent back to Turkey.

Figures released by the Greek government Wednesday showed 766 people reached the islands of Lesbos, Samos, Chios and Kos in the 24 hours until Wednesday morning. The number is a roughly a three-fold jump compared with arrivals in previous days, when weather conditions had been poorer.

The increase comes a day after the EU noted the number of arrivals had dropped sharply over the previous week.

Under an EU-Turkey agreement, Ankara is supposed to stop migrants reaching Europe and take back all people from Greece who do not qualify for asylum.


10:15 a.m.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging governments around the globe to let in more people from Syria and “counter fearmongering” about refugees.

Ban spoke at a one-day conference in Geneva Wednesday meant to further efforts to resettle Syrian refugees. The U.N. refugee agency wants to find places abroad for one-tenth of the 4.8 million Syrian refugees crowded into countries in the surrounding region over three years. To date, 179,000 places have been pledged.

Ban urged countries to “act with solidarity, in the name of our shared humanity, by pledging new and additional pathways for the admission of Syrian refugees.” He said that those “can include resettlement or humanitarian admission, family reunions, as well as labor or study opportunities.”

He said: “when managed properly, accepting refugees is a win for everyone.”


10:05 a.m.

The Turkish coast guard says it has rescued dozens of mostly Syrian migrants as they tried to reach Greece.

Seventy Syrian migrants, two Palestinian nationals, one Somali and one Yemeni were spotted Sunday in an inflatable dinghy off the coast of Turkey’s western province of Izmir — a few kilometers across the Aegean Sea from Greece. A Turkish-flagged warship supported the operation, the coast guard reported Tuesday.

The move comes before the scheduled implementation date of an agreement between Turkey and the European Union aimed at curbing the flow of migrants to Europe.

The deal, due to come into effect on April 4, stipulates that those who arrive on Greek islands from the Turkish coast will be detained and sent back.

For every Syrian returned, another Syrian in Turkey will be relocated to a European country.


9:30 a.m.

Police have evacuated a few hundred migrants from a makeshift camp near a subway station in northeastern Paris.

The Paris regional administration said the operation Wednesday was peaceful and authorities are relocating the migrants, who had been living beneath elevated train tracks for the past several weeks.

The Paris transit authority closed the Stalingrad metro station during the operation. The area has seen multiple migrant camps in recent years that are periodically cleared out.

French media reported the residents were primarily from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and Afghanistan.

France has not seen nearly as many Syrian refugees or other migrants over the past year as Germany or countries farther east, but has experienced tensions around the northern port of Calais, where migrants converge in hopes of crossing to Britain.