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EU Blames Greece for Filthy Refugee Detention Camps

December 28, 2017

The European Commission said it has given Greece enough money to help operate refugee and migrant detention centers and camps, including on islands housing more than 15,000 of them and said the government was at fault for conditions human rights groups said weren’t fit for humans.

Secret video of the Moria detention center on the island of Lesbos, which, along with Chios and Samos are the main destinations for refugees who fled war and strife in the Middle East and went to Turkey, which allowed human traffickers to send them to Greece, showed people living with toilets that didn’t work and walking among feces and garbage.

There have been frequent clashes between ethnic groups and with riot police and mayors on the islands have been pleading all year for the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition to move people to the mainland.

But Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas, who said people sleeping in summer weight tents in the winter weren’t cold at the same time he said he couldn’t guarantee none wouldn’t die, has refused, saying it would violate suspended European Union swap deal with Turkey.

There are another 50,000 on the mainland living in facilities that are better but Mouzalas won’t let them off the islands, apart from a small number of those deemed at risk, such as the elderly, minors and the ill.

“The Commission has made the funding available to ensure appropriate accommodation for all. However, the Commission cannot order the creation or expansion of reception capacity, against the opposition of the competent authorities,” Maarten Verwey, the EU coordinator for the implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement on migration, told the Brussels-based newspaper New Europe.

Verwey said the government, which includes the pro-austerity, marginal, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL) and local authorities on the islands haven’t done a good job to make conditions better although Greece has complained the EU has done too little.

New Europe reported that Greek authorities recorded 13,663 migrants and refugees on the islands and that the EU secured funding for larger numbers, up to 15,000 migrants, “… 2,000 of which should be able to use the beds provided by apartments and hotels under the UNHCR rental scheme.” There was no report where the money went.

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