Greece’s left wing opposition has attacked the conservative government after clashes between riot police and local communities, protesting against plans to create closed migrant detention camps on the Aegean islands, continued for a fourth day.
“Greek Police exists in order to provide security for Greek society and not in order to be humiliated across Greece by the [Kyriakos] Mitsotakis administration,” SYRIZA’s shadow minister for citizens’ protection Yiannis Ragousis said Thursday.
Ragousis, a former PASOK interior minister, said that the conservative prime minister was the “moral and political instigator” behind the mob attacks against police officers on Lesvos saying that “the anger of island residents is a result of [Mitsotakis’] failed and unacceptable migration policies.”
Ragousis urged the government to withdraw riot police squads sent to the islands.
The demonstrators gathered on Thursday for a fourth consecutive day on the eastern Greek islands of Lesvos and Chios, protesting government plans to build new migrant detention centres.
Shops and services were shut on Lesvos as workers extended an initial 24-hour strike into a second day as part of the protests. The mayors of Lesvos, Chios and the nearby island of Samos were to meet with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Athens to discuss the situation.
Riot police on the Greek island of Lesvos fired tear gas on Wednesday to disperse hundreds of stone-throwing protesters angry over the creation of a new detention centre for migrants.
“More than 1,000 people protesting at the new facility… threw stones at police, smashing their helmets. Police were forced to use chemicals,” a police spokesman said, using a euphemism for tear gas.
The Athens government says the closed centres will offer greater security and safety to both asylum seekers and local residents, and plans to build them on the islands of Samos, Kos, Leros and Chios in addition to Lesbos.
Sourced by: Associated Press