Thursday, July 29, 2021

Greece arrests 5 migrants for burning down own camp

Migrants feel trapped on Lesbos and only want to get to Germany.

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Greek police have arrested five migrants over the huge fire on Lesbos island which destroyed their own overcrowded camp last week, according to the BBC.

The Greek government claimed the Moria camp migrants were angry over isolation rules imposed to curb the coronavirus outbreak and had started the blaze themselves.

Migrants denied that, blaming hostile locals for setting fire to their tents.

The Moria camp was initially designed to house 3,000 but at the time it was destroyed it was having to cope with more than 12,000.

It was squalid and unhealthy, as well as being prone to outbursts of violence.

Following the levelling of Moria, about 800 who fled the blaze have now been moved to a new temporary camp.

The vast majority are still sleeping rough wherever they can.

The Greek government aims to shelter all of the 12,000 in the new camp, though it acknowledges that most are reluctant to go there. After the squalor of Moria most want to go elsewhere in Europe.

Migrants fear the new camp will become permanent. They are not happy on their Greek island home, seen by tourists as idyllic.

“These people are desperate, they do not want to live in army tents and will do anything to escape the camp and the island and get to Europe, especially Germany,” a local told the BBC World Service.

Greece has accused wealthier northern EU nations of failing to share their burden as columns and boatloads of migrants continue to arrive in their country, mostly from the Middle East and Africa.

Central and eastern Europe members of the EU reject the idea of being forced to take in any quota of migrants.

The German government has now agreed to take in 1,553 of the migrants displaced from Moria, but so far they are the only country to offer to take any at all.

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