News ID: 274219
Published: 0104 GMT September 15, 2020

Greek PM calls for European solidarity with refugees

Greek PM calls for European solidarity with refugees
A baby sits in a tent as refugees and migrants from the destroyed Moria camp are sheltered near a new temporary camp, on the island of Lesbos, Greece, on September 15, 2020.

The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called for European solidarity with a view to the situation of refugees in his country.

It is now time to express this spirit in practice, Mitsotakis said in Athens on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

Europe needs a common migration, asylum and return policy. The burned down refugee camp in Moria on the island of Lesbos is a relic of the past. What is needed now is a new institution with European support. EU Council President Charles Michel described migration as a challenge for the European Union during a visit to the Greek capital.

The country’s Migration Ministry said on Monday that roughly 800 of the thousands of asylum seekers who fled a fire that destroyed the refugee camp in Moria have been housed at a temporary site on Lesbos.

Among them, 21 have tested positive for coronavirus, the ministry said late Monday, AFP reported.

Thousands of people had been left wandering aimlessly since a blaze ripped through the overcrowded Europe's biggest migrant camp in Moria on September 8.

The fire forced its 12,000 former occupants to sleep rough in abandoned buildings, on roadsides and even rooftops.

Officials have been hastily erecting a new camp of white tents near the eastern port-village of Panagiouda as exhaustion, hunger and fear set in among the migrants.

Many have refused to enter the new camp, fearing they would be unable to leave once inside.

Others are reluctantly making their way to the site in the searing heat.

But some 800 of them are now housed in the temporary center, the ministry said.

"There's nothing in the camp, no shower, no mattresses," Malik, an Algerian migrant, told AFP by phone from inside the camp where he now lives with his wife and five children.

"There is only one meal per day, and they give us a carton with six bottles of water," said the French teacher.

Many migrants also fear the animosity of Lesbos residents.

There have been frequent incidents between the asylum seekers and locals, including those from the far-right, since last year.

"The camp was burnt by refugees and migrants who wanted to blackmail the government in order to be rapidly transferred from the island (to the continent)," government spokesman Stelios Petsas told reporters in Athens, giving no further details.

Officials had previously said the fire was started by migrants who faced isolation after testing positive for coronavirus.


Security Key:
Captcha refresh
Page Generated in 0/5189 sec