Greek police registration officers working around the clock greatly have reduced the numbers of Syrian refugees stuck in miserable conditions on the holiday island of Kos.
Hundreds arrive on the island daily in packed boats from Turkey. A rudimentary processing centre set up in a stadium on Kos was running much more smoothly after police issued temporary travel papers to at least 1,000 men, women and children who had been penned inside for up to a day without adequate shelter, food or drinking water.
But large numbers of refugees remained camped on a tree-lined coastal promenade outside.
About 7,000 Middle Eastern migrants, mainly Syrians, reached the eastern Aegean Sea island last month – twice as many as in June – and up to 5,000 are thought to be stuck there waiting for the documents that will let them travel on toward wealthier European countries.
An official for the Doctors without Borders medical charity, which is helping refugees on Kos, noted the improvement but stressed that the refugees’ situation remains far from desirable with virtually no support.