News World Moria migrants stuck on Lesbos island, locals oppose shelter plans

Moria migrants stuck on Lesbos island, locals oppose shelter plans

Thousands of migrants remained stranded on Lesbos island for a third day on streets near Greece‘s largest migrant camp on Friday, after fires burned the facility the ground.

The Moria camp – notorious for poor living conditions – hosted more than 12,000 migrants, four times its stated capacity.

A devastating fire on Wednesday turned the sprawling site into a mass of smouldering metal and melted tents.

Greece‘s conservative government said it had secured thousands of tents to provide temporary shelter to migrants who fled the flames. A passenger ferry has docked at the island’s port of Mytilene for any assistance.

But the government’s plans were resisted by local authorities and residents who fear the temporary shelters would turn into another permanent migrant camp.

Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi told Greek MEGA TV late on Thursday that locals wanted the migrants out.

“We are ready with the tents, we are ready to cover the needs of families and the vulnerable,” he said.

“The regional authority’s counter-offer is that they get on a boat and sail to Piraeus (port in Athens). This is technically not feasible, it would cause more safety issues, due to the coronavirus.”

Thousands of migrants slept on roadsides and fields for a second night on Thursday. Greek television showed others camping in a cemetery.

“Moria finished,” said Zohra, a 25-year-old woman from Afghanistan. “We are two days on the road, no water, no food, very cold at night.”

Some who fled the fires in the early hours of Wednesday had previously tested positive for COVID-19 after an outbreak of the disease in the camp, further complicating the task of gathering migrants in one place and providing them with shelter.

Local attitudes on an island at the forefront of the European migrant crisis of 2015-2016 have turned largely hostile in recent years as the camp population rose.

The island’s authorities have also been opposed to government plans to replace the open-air Moria camp with a closed facility.

The government has said, without providing any evidence, that the fire was started by asylum seekers reacting to quarantine measures after the COVID-19 infections were detected.

The camp was quarantined last week after a 40-year-old man tested positive for COVID-19. At least 35 migrants tested positive before the fire broke out, but Mitarachi said all of them are missing.

Bracing for a possible surge in COVID-19 cases, authorities were sending 19,000 test kits to the island.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

‘We’re confident’ – Russia to share legal risks of COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik-V

Russia is so confident in its COVID-19 vaccine that it will shoulder some of the legal liability should anything go wrong, rather than requiring...

East Med Gas Forum members sign statute officially establishing the regional forum

East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) members signed on Tuesday, during a ceremony held online, the statute establishing this regional intergovernmental forum. The founding members of...

Seven dogs stolen from their cages in Famagusta area

Famagusta police are investigating the theft of seven dogs which were in individual cages at a fenced small plot of land in the district. The...

Eight new coronavirus cases in Nea Salamina Club making a total of 19 – they violated quarantine

The Ministry of Health was informed this morning by a private laboratory that carried out tests on footballers and members of the Nea Salamina...

Homeless man repeatedly jailed for begging

A 47-year-old man in Limassol is repeatedly sent to prison so as to get 'reformed' from trying to make a living by begging in...

Taste

Pastelli (Carob Toffee)

The nutritional sweet of Pastelli is made with the syrup of carob pods, produced by boiling their pulp until it forms a thick, sticky...

Meatballs with tomato and cumin

Place all meatball ingredients in a bowl and knead well with hands. Keep the mixture in the fridge for approximately 1 hour to thicken. In...

Crushed wheat pilaf with sausages and halloumi

Ingredients: 1 cup bulgar wheat ¼ of the cup vermicelli noodles or spaghetti, broken into small pieces 1 onion 2 sausages 1 cup tomato juice 1 vegetable stock cube 1/3 ts...

Chicken with okra and bulgur wheat

Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the okra until golden. Remove the okra, lay out in an oven tray and sprinkle with...