News World Greek islands should not be migrant warehouses, residents say

Greek islands should not be migrant warehouses, residents say

Residents of outlying Greek islands urged authorities on Thursday to shut overcrowded migrant camps that host thousands of asylum seekers.

Hundreds protested peacefully outside Greece’s interior ministry in central Athens, holding placards against the creation of new detention facilities on five islands.

“Our islands should not be warehouses of souls,” read one banner.

“These people live in terrible conditions in the mud,” said Theodora Kokkinelli, 50, whose parents live in Moria village on Lesbos. Moria is a hamlet near a sprawling camp that Greek authorities plan to replace with a detention facility elsewhere on the island.

The Moria camp was built to accommodate 2,840 people but housed 19,500 on Feb. 12, according to the latest official count by Greek authorities.

“My biggest fear is that these people, some time, will revolt” said Kostas Moutzouris, the prefect of the North Aegean administrative region.

Migrants on Lesbos protested last week over their living conditions, while residents staged their own protests demanding the facilities close. Locals have been particularly angered by government plans to build new detention centres, worried that new centres will signals permanency.

Greek authorities on Monday announced plans to accelerate the construction of detention facilities on Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros islands. The islands are close to Turkey, from where thousands of asylum seekers head to Europe each year.

“These new facilities are just an extension of the existing camps,” said Costas Vrachnis, 60, a restaurateur from Samos. “Our island is getting negative publicity, tourists hear Samos and turn the other way,” he said.

Hundreds of thousands of people crossed into Europe from Turkey via Greece in 2015 and 2016 before a deal brokered by the European Union limited the flow. But there has been a resurgence in arrivals since around September 2019.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Man pays 22 thousand fine for trapping and killing dozens of ambelopoulia

  Α sixty three year old poacher in the Nicosia district was fined 22 thousand four hundred euro for illegally trapping and killing 68 songbirds...

26 covid patients at Famagusta General

  Twenty six patients suffering from coronavirus are currently being treated at the Famagusta General, the referral institution for covid-19, as the government is considering...

Low pressure system gradually brings rain (not weekend), as temperatures drop

  A low pressure system is gradually affecting the area, as rain is expected over the next four days, (but not the weekend) with temperatures...

Strong quake kills 24 people in Turkey and 2 in Samos

  Twenty four people were killed in Turkey and two in Greece after a strong earthquake struck the Aegean Sea on Friday, bringing buildings crashing...

166 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

The Health Ministry announced 166 new COVID-19 cases on 30 October, out of 3,672 laboratory tests, taking confirmed infections to 4,217. The break-down of new...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...