Greek authorities in the eastern Aegean Sea have picked up more than 300 people who entered the country illegally in small craft from Turkey, raising the total of arrivals over the past two days to nearly 1,200.

After Italy, financially crippled Greece is the main destination for refugees — mostly from war-ravaged Syria — and economic migrants seeking a better life in the European Union. About 30,000 have arrived this year.

The country has asked for more assistance from EU authorities in coping with the flow, and EU commissioner for immigration Dimitris Avramopoulos, who is Greek, was conferring with government officials in Athens on Tuesday.

The migrant arrivals of the past two days were mostly on the islands of Lesvos, Kos, Chios and Farmakonissi, all close to the Turkish shores.