The more than 12,000 migrants and asylum seekers who are currently homeless due to fires at Moria reception camp on the Greek island of Lesvos, will, according to the authorities, be housed “in the next few days” in a new emergency camp built by the Greek army.
According to the Greek Minister for Migration Mitarakis, the migrants can voluntarily decide whether to move to the temporary camp, some three kilometres from the capital, Mytilini. However, they must first be tested for the coronavirus. Seven people have now tested positive. They and their families have been placed in quarantine in a part of the camp specially set up for corona patients. So far, 300 people have been tested
By the way, how many people want to go to the new camp at all? The vast majority of migrants want to leave Lesvos.
CCeit editor Heleen D‘Haens is on Lesbos. In this video, she explains why migrants build new tents everywhere along the road and do not want to go to the closed tent camp of the Greek authorities:
Since the fires on Tuesday and Wednesday, which destroyed most of the shelter camp, thousands of people have been living on a strip of motorway near Moria. The Greek Government assumes that the fires were set by residents of the camp and that migrants also obstructed the fire brigade.
The situation on the island is tense. Yesterday, migrants threw stones and the police used tear gas in spontaneous demonstrations. Yesterday afternoon, some 1,500 demonstrators on Amsterdam’s Museumplein drew attention to the situation of migrants in Moria.
Plans for a new permanent camp
The Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis said today at a press conference in Thessaloniki that his government is insisting on building a new permanent camp on the island of Lesvos. It is not yet clear where that camp will be located. But it will not be a new Moriah, he stressed.
At the end of last year, the Mitotakis government launched the plan to set up a new, closed reception and identification centre on Lesbos. Residents of nearby villages protested against this. They want Moria to disappear altogether.
“The residents are right to have complaints,” Mitsotakis said. “But there are also extreme reactions that do not represent the majority of the population. We will turn the problem into an opportunity”