Moria expatriates and Greek islanders oppose new camp


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Media captionThousands of migrants and refugees are seeking permanent housing elsewhere

Thousands of refugees and refugees have been left without shelter after a fire on the Greek island of Lesbos, which is opposed to the construction of a replacement camp.

About 13,000 people were living in squalor in the crowded Moria camp and are desperate to leave the island.

Residents of the island also oppose the reconstruction of the camp and have blocked roads to prevent aid delivery.

But the Greek military has already started installing replacement dwellings.

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The family is sleeping in the fields and on the streets after fleeing from the blast on Wednesday, as authorities struggle to find accommodation for them.

The Moriya camp was initially designed to house 3,000 migrants. People from 70 countries took refuge there, most of them from Afghanistan.

On Friday, migrants and refugees faced road blockade police barriers out of the Moria camp, calling for “freedom” and opposing the construction of a new camp.

There is also strong resistance by local people to house them for a new camp.

“We do not want another camp, and we will oppose any construction work,” local leader Vangelis Violatzis was quoted as saying. “We have faced this situation for five years, it is time for others to bear this burden.”

Place of incident

By Bethany Bell, BBC News, Lesbos

Migrants from the burnt Moriya camp are protesting in front of police barricades that prevent them from moving to other parts of the island.

Singing and beating plastic bottles, they up and down a section of the coastal road, calling for the right to leave Lesbos.

One person embossed a large piece of cardboard with the message: “We don’t want food, we want freedom.” Another banner read: “Moriah kills all lives”.

Image copyrightReuters

image CaptionThe Moria camp housed thousands more than its intended capacity

Many local Greeks also want migrants to leave the island.

They strongly oppose the plans to rebuild a temporary camp. The sanitation situation is critical. There is little running water, and it is difficult to wash.

The question of how to deal with the mass arrival of migrants, mainly to Italy and Greece, has been divided over the years by the European Union.

Italy and Greece have accused rich northern countries of failing to do more, while many central and eastern nations are openly resistant to the idea of ​​taking in migrants’ quotas.

After visiting the area on Thursday, European Commission Vice-President Margaritas Cinicas announced that the devastated camp would be replaced by a modern facility at the same location.

He has also stated that the Commission’s proposals for a new agreement on migration and asylum “will put an end to this unacceptable situation”, as presented on 30 September.

Media captionThe BBC’s Gene McKenzie spent time in the camp just six months ago talking to people and showcasing his experiences there.

Hey what’s up?

On Friday, Germany announced that 10 European countries had agreed to take 400 unaccompanied minors who were living in Moria.

Image copyrightEPA
image CaptionThousands of migrants have been left without shelter after the fire
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that France and Germany would each accept between 100 and 150 children. The Netherlands has already promised to accept 50 and Finland will take 11.. Negotiations are underway with other states to participate, Mr. Seehofer said.

According to the German report, other countries expected to have children include Switzerland, Belgium, Croatia, Slovenia, Luxembourg and Portugal.

The Interior Minister said the fire in Moria was “a sharp reminder for all of us to change in Europe”.

But a group of charitable and NGOs have written to the German government that more should be done, not for all minors, but for all migrants.

Media captionMigrants are struggling to cope in the open
The open letter reads, “The embarrassing situation and fire disaster in the camp is a direct result of a failed European refugee policy. Now the European Union must ultimately help the people.”

All 400 children have now been flown to the Greek mainland. European Union Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said on Wednesday that the EU had agreed to finance the transfer of minors to the mainland and their housing.

“Safety and shelter of all people is a priority in Moria,” He tweeted.

What caused the camp to catch fire?

According to local fire chief Constantino Theophilopoulos, more than three locations caught fire overnight on Tuesday. Further fires almost completely destroyed the camp.

The fire broke out hours after reports that 35 people had tested positive for Kovid-19 at the camp. Authorities placed the facility under quarantine last week when a Somali migrant was confirmed to have contracted coronovirus.

Eight of the 35 who tested positive for Kovid-19 are believed to have been found and isolated.

Greek migration minister Notices Mitrachi said the fire “started with quarantine seekers because of quarantine”. Some of those infected with the virus reportedly refused to go into isolation with their families.

However, he did not say that the arson was a deliberate action intended to destroy the camp.

Meanwhile, some migrants told BBC Persian that the camp had come under fire following a scuffle between migrants and Greek forces.

What is being done for the migrants?

As the army began building new tents on Lesbos, Greece has sent three ships to provide accommodation for some 2,000 migrants.

Image copyrightReuters
image CaptionGreek soldiers set up tents at an unused shooting range

The Blue Star Chios Ferry, which has a capacity of 1,000 people, has docked at the Lesbos port of Sigri. Two naval vessels have also been provided.

But authorities have also increased security on the island. Military personnel, riot police and water cannon have reached the spot.

At a car park outside a supermarket on Thursday, hundreds of migrants, including families with young children, waited to distribute bottled water and food.

According to the news agency Reuters, “Natalie Malala, a newborn and eight-year-old girl, said,” There is no food for the baby, no milk for the baby. “

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