Homeless refugees reject new camp on Lesvos, call for resettlement

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Greek authorities are struggling to persuade refugees displaced by the Moria refugee camp fire to move to a new temporary site, as many people continue to sleep on the streets of Lesvos island.

Just over 6% of the 12,500 people left homeless last week by the fire have been rehoused in the temporary facility, authorities said on Monday.

Refugees and migrants displaced by the Moria camp fire find shelter in makeshift accommodation. Photo: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters.

Migration Minister, Notis Mitarachi, said there’s space for about 5,000 people so far in the new camp, on a former military firing range at Kara Tepe near Mytilene.

Officials said the gap between available spaces and residents in the new camp is largely due to the unwillingness of many refugees to settle in.

Many had hoped that with Moria destroyed they would be allowed to head for the Greek mainland, or even other European Union countries.

Migrants shout slogans during a protest near Mytilene town, on the northeastern island of Lesbos, Greece, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. Photo: AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris.

Several hundred women and children held a protest march along the Moria-to-Mytilene road on Monday, chanting: “No camp, freedom.”

These latest protests in Lesvos come as Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said he hoped plans to build a new reception centre to replace Moria would be an opportunity to reset policy on handling migrant arrivals.

READ MORE: Greece to build permanent migrant centre on Lesvos to replace Moria.

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