THOUSANDS of furious Greeks protest plans to build even more camps on their islands after surge of Muslim refugee wannabes have pushed existing detention centers to the breaking point.
TelegraphThe largest camp of Moria on Lesbos island, with a capacity for 2,840 people, hosts more than 19,000 asylum seekers. “You can’t walk alone outside after dark, people get stabbed,” one resident said.
The islands of Lesbos, Samos and Chios staged a general strike, shutting down shops and public services and rallying in central squares, many protesters waving Greek flags, demanding the immediate removal of asylum-seekers.
The overcrowding is equally severe on other islands, and rights groups and medical charities have repeatedly criticized the living conditions at the camps.
The government announced plans in November to build larger camps on Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros, which currently host a total of nearly 42,000 migrants and refugees and where outbreaks of violence are frequent.
But the plans have been strongly opposed by local officials, who want smaller facilities after hosting thousands of asylum seekers for the past five years.
Two young asylum seekers have been fatally stabbed in brawls at the Moria camp this month. An 18-year-old Afghan girl was also seriously injured in a knife attack this week and remains in hospital. Three asylum seekers in Greek custody have committed suicide in recent weeks. (Good)
“We demand the immediate shutdown of Moria,” read a banner carried in the Lesbos demonstration. But the new camp plans have been strongly opposed by local officials, who want smaller facilities after hosting thousands of asylum seekers for the past five years.
Greece last year again became the main entry into Europe for migrants and refugees, many fleeing war or poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Syria, and many more just pretending to.
The UN refugee agency in 2019 recorded more than 59,000 arrivals by sea and more than 14,000 via the land border with Turkey. Already more than 3,000 have arrived so far this year.
Below video shows how the entitled Muslim invaders behave on the islands and why the Greeks don’t want them there.
Only a fraction are allowed passage to the Greek mainland while the rest spend months in the camps, waiting for their asylum applications to be processed.
On Tuesday, 17 human rights organisations warned of a rising “climate of discrimination and xenophobia” towards asylum-seekers, who also faced “serious consequences to their well-being and public health”.
The government has said the new camps will be designed to accommodate 20,000 Muslim invaders for a maximum of three months at a time. The people there live in dire conditions repeatedly condemned by rights groups and the Council of Europe.
Rights activists and opposition parties have also criticised plans to make the new camps closed facilities, restricting the freedom of movement that Muslim illegals currently enjoy on the islands (forcing female residents to be prisoners in their homes out of fear of being raped).
THIS JUST IN: Under-pressure Greece toughens migration stance.
IB Times Facing overwhelming migration pressure on the Aegean with island camps on the brink of asphyxiation, the conservative Greek government has hardened its asylum policy with increased repatriations, new detention centres and plans for a sea barrier.
“The decongestion of our islands is our number one priority,” migration minister Notis Mitarachi told AFP as the government seeks to mollify islanders on the EU’s southeastern flank outraged by the perceived inaction in Brussels.
Five years after the great migration crisis of 2015, Greece is again the first gateway for Muslim migrant wannabes to Europe and struggling to manage a huge load of asylum applications.
Almost 90,000 are still pending among 112,000 exiles, according to the latest official figures. On the Aegean islands of Lesbos, Samos, Chios, Leros and Kos, migrants continue to flock daily from neighbouring Turkey.
More than 38,000 people live in overcrowded and unsanitary camps that were originally built to handle just 6,200. Slum-like tents and shelters grow like mushrooms around these sites, causing exasperation tinged with xenophobia among locals.
Now the government, which in January was forced to reverse a July decision to abolish the migration ministry, is stepping up efforts to send asylum-seekers whose applications are rejected back to Turkey.
“The return process will be sped up,” Mitarachi said. To achieve this, the Greek asylum service must deliver faster verdicts under controversial new legislation which came into force in January. In addition, Greece will only grant asylum for a maximum three years and the measure is subject to reevaluation depending on conditions in the country of origin, Mitarachi has said.
And to further discourage exiles from crossing the Aegean Sea, the government plans to install a floating barrier 2.7 kilometres (1.7 miles) long and 1.10 metres (3.6 feet) high in the Aegean.
The controversial project has elicited the wrath of George Soros-funded NGOs (non-governmental organizations). Human Rights Watch says the barrier “makes no sense and is potentially life-threatening” to the flimsy dinghies into which people smugglers usually pack migrants.
The government is also compiling a register for humanitarian organizations authorised to assist with migrant rescue, after state officials claimed that some groups had operated like “leeches” drawing on EU emergency funds on migration.
The government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had hoped to appease the anger of the islanders by vowing to close the sordid camps of Moria on Lesbos, Vathy on Samos and Vial on Chios, replacing them with new closed centres by the summer.
But elected officials and residents demand the immediate removal of asylum-seekers, fearing that the new centres will be prison camps in all but name.
“If we accept a (new) camp for 7,000 people, unofficially it could be 20-25,000 people,” Georgios Stantzos, the mayor of eastern Samos, said this week during a protest by islanders in Athens.