Written by Staff Writer
19 Feb, 2016 | 7:19 am
About 900 migrants have been rescued near the Greek island of Lesbos, the EU border agency Frontex has said.
They were taken aboard a Bulgarian ship on patrol between Lesbos’s port of Mytilene and the Turkish coast.
Frontex said it was picking up all the migrants it encountered at sea because bad weather made the crossing more dangerous during the winter.
More than 1m people arrived in the EU in 2015, making it Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War Two.
Earlier this week, Greek started to register asylum seekers at four new reception centres on islands near Turkey, including Lesbos. This is being done in line with a demand from the EU.
Converted shipping containers and prefab shelters are being used to house thousands of people.
Last year more than 850,000 migrants – mostly refugees fleeing war and abuses in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan – entered Greece as a gateway to the EU.
More than 700 died during their perilous journeys last year, and at least another 100 this year.
The EU has pledged €3bn (£2.3bn; $3.3bn) to Turkey in return for housing refugees and strengthening the country’s borders.
Turkey is home to nearly three million refugees, most of them from Syria.
Many of them pay smugglers thousands of dollars to make the crossing to Greece.
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