Disabled Syrian refugee sues Greece over pursuit injuries
The 68-year-old man, who now lives in Sweden, submitted his case to a court on the island of Rhodes, local daily Dimokratiki said.
The plaintiff was badly hurt in September 2014 when Greek coastguards fired on a smuggler's speedboat in a drawn-out chase near the island of Kalymnos.
The smuggler had previously attempted to ram and sink the Greek patrol boat, injuring one of the coastguards, authorities had said at the time.
The coastguards had also claimed that a dozen asylum-seekers were concealed on the speedboat and were not visible during the pursuit.
An estimated 11 million Syrians fled their homes since 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime imposed a brutal repression of protests that erupted as part of the Arab Spring.
More than one million refugees fled to Europe in 2015, in what became the worst refugee crisis since World War II.
Four years after the 2015 refugee crisis, Greece has again become a key point of entry for asylum-seekers to Europe.
"Decongesting the islands is a priority at this stage," the government's special coordinator for migration Alkiviadis Stefanis, a former army general and chief of staff, told a news conference.
"These actions are designed to show our determination in dealing with the migrant-refugee crisis," said Stefanis, who is also deputy defence minister.
The government wants to make borders "air-tight" and will hire 400 additional guards for the land border with Turkey and 800 for the islands, he said.
Three camps are to be closed, on the islands of Lesbos, Chios and Samos, currently housing over 27,000 people under terrible conditions which have been repeatedly castigated by rights groups. They have a nominal capacity of just 4,500.
Athens said it would replace the camps with new closed facilities for identification, relocation and deportation with a capacity of at least 5,000 people each.
According to government figures, there are over 37,000 asylum-seekers on the islands, and hundreds arrive daily, capitalising on mild weather conditions.
The International Organisation for Migration says there are an additional 22,000 people in camps on the mainland, which are nearly full or already past capacity.
The conservative government which came to power in July has already passed a law stiffening asylum requirements for migrants, which was criticised by rights groups as harmful to the interests of vulnerable asylum-seekers.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in November accused the European Union of treating countries on the bloc's external frontiers as convenient places to park migrants.
"It cannot go on like this," Mitsotakis told German newspaper Handelsblatt.
"Europe regards arrival countries such as Greece as a convenient parking spot for refugees and migrants. Is that European solidarity? No! I will no longer accept this."
Mitsotakis insists that most new arrivals to Greece are "economic migrants" from Afghanistan or sub-Saharan Africa rather than refugees from war-wracked Syria.