Greece’s major opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, picking up pre-campaign activities, planned to visit the Moria refugee and migrant detention center on the island of Lesbos March 13, a facility way over capacity and scene of a number of protests and riots.
With the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA having mostly left dealing with more than 15,000 refugees and migrants on islands in the hands of the residents and officials there, the camp on Lesbos was called by the BBC “the worst in the world” and human rights groups and activists have continued to complain in vain that more help is needed there.
Mitsotakis, who in October, 2018 visited the similar but facility on Samos island, accused SYRIZA and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of mishandling a long-running refugee and migrant crisis that has coincided with economic woes
New Democracy has also criticized the government for failing to ensure the return of irregular migrants to their country of origin and for the long delays in processing asylum applications.
Refugees and migrants have kept coming to Greek islands from Turkey, which allows human traffickers to operate during a suspended swap deal with the European Union, overwhelming Greek officials with asylum applications.
The refugees and migrants have been stuck in Greece with the EU closing its borders to them and reneging on promises to help take some of the overload with EU migration chief Dimitris Avramopoulos, from the major rival New Democracy, saying he can’t take other countries to court because it’s too politically sensitive.