With refugees and migrants on Greek islands near Turkey being kept in detention centers and camps for two years or more, new riots and continued tension on Lesbos led the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition to say new facilities will be added, despite the protest of islanders who want them moved to the mainland.
Hundreds of Kurdish migrants walked out of the Lesbos center after more violent incidents with the detainees frustrated and furious they’re being kept penned up as the government tries to handle overwhelming numbers of asylum applications.
There are about 7300 people in a camp designed to hold 3000 people and the government keeps promising improvements after human rights groups, activists, NGO’s and volunteers complained conditions were unfit for humans.
The latest incident started when migrants from Arab countries complained the Kurds were not observing Muslim religious customs, setting off a huge brawl and the Kurds leaving to set up tents near another state-run facility, said Kathimerini.
Locals said with the tourism season setting into its biggest period that visitors would be scared off by the presence of the refugees and migrants.
The government said it can’t move move to the mainland because it would break a European Union swap deal with Turkey which continues to let human traffickers send more to nearby Greek islands after Europe closed its doors to them and dumped the problem on Greece during a long economic and austerity crisis.
In a letter to Migration Minister Dimitris Vitsas, Lesvos Mayor Spyros Galinos said residents are unhappy with plans to expand the detention facilities and a delegation from the ministry was sent to the island.