The situation on the five Greek islands of the Aegean Sea closest to the Turkish coast has become tense and violent. The inhabitants of Lesbos, Jíos, Kos, Leros and Samos oppose the plans of the Government, which wants to close the three reception and identification centers of Moria (in Lesbos), Jíos and Samos, where the number of immigrants and living conditions are terrible, to build new ones.
The decision is based on the need to quickly process new arrivals and decide whether they will receive asylum (and may be sent to other parts of Greece) or be deported back to Turkey, something that cannot be done if they travel to the rest of the country. country.
Local people want immigrants to leave as soon as possible and therefore make it difficult to prepare the new centers and the arrival of the necessary machinery to build them. Demonstrations and protests are daily and violent, with locals coming to threaten riot forces with their carbines. The Government has been forced to withdraw these forces from order, keeping the police forces, but still with the same policy, announced for several months.
With the local authorities
Prime Minister Kiriakos Mitsotakis has met again on Thursday afternoon with local authorities in Athens, with the Deputy Governor of North Aegean (the region that includes these islands) as well as the mayors of Lesbos, Jíos and Samos . Only the conflicting governor of these islands, Kostas Mutzúris, who could not attend due to the cancellation of flights due to bad weather was missing. Hours before, after a Council of Ministers, Mitsotakis had insisted that “we are now here to face the difficulties of the islanders, but they are also called to safeguard peace on their islands. They must isolate all the extreme elements, from the extreme right, from the extreme left, to the suspected Senegalese, to the premises with their own interests.
For their part, the neighbors believe that the camps have become prisons, both for immigrants and for them, the residents of the islands, and believe that the construction of new centers with good conditions will increase existing problems.
Governor Kosta Mutzuris, an engineer who was former university rector, elected governor of the northern Aegean area last summer, does not support the efforts of the Government, but the position of the inhabitants of these islands. Mutzuris is from Lesbos, the island with more immigrants in the shameful center of Moria, whose initial capacity was 3,000 people and now has more than 16,000 in terrible conditions.
The governor has been in favor of demonstrations and protests and a video has been leaked in which he is seen and heard talking with Yorgos Gerapetritis, the Minister of State and next collaborator of Mitsotakis, shouting that he did not care if he was angry with him Prime Minister, pointing to his genitals, a very vulgar and insulting gesture in Greece. An attitude that expects new political tensions. .