Locals oppose new migrant camp construction on Lesvos claiming ‘Moria is over’

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Greece has begun setting up tents on Friday for thousands of migrants left without shelter on the island of Lesvos after a fire destroyed Greece’s biggest refugee camp three days ago.

The Municipality of Mytilini have expressed their opposition towards the development of any new refugee facility, saying they will do “anything possible” to ensure a decision is not carried out.

“The decision is final on this issue and it would be best for the competent authorities to understand this and cooperate,” the municipality said, calling on the government to “review its decision, before it is too late.”

The Municipality is not the only one with concerns however, with anger growing among residents of an island whose location a few miles (km) off the Turkish coast has kept them on the frontline of Europe’s migrant crisis for years.

Refugees and migrants from the destroyed Moria camp protest after the news about the creation of a new temporary camp on the island of Lesbos, Greece September 11, 2020. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

“Moria is a monstrosity,” Dimitris Koursoubas, a senior official responsible for migration in the northern Aegean islands, told Reuters, saying the fire which destroyed the camp presented a “tragic opportunity” to find a new solution.

“We want all the migrants out, for national reasons. Moria is over,” he said.

Hoping to avoid a repeat of protests seen earlier this year, island authorities have not said where the shelters are being set up but helicopters with tents and other materials could be seen landing a few miles from the main port of Mytilene.

The emergency has once again highlighted Europe’s patchy response to a multi-year crisis that has seen more than a million migrants reach its shores.

“The clock has run out on how long Europe can be without a migration policy. Now is the time to change this,” Margaritis Schinas, the European commissioner responsible for migration and asylum policy, said at a press conference in Brussels.

Sourced By: Reuters

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