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Society

Greece Moving More Refugees, Migrants Off Overwhelmed Lesbos

September 29, 2020

While still moving refugees and migrants into a tent city after the notorious Moria detention camp was burned down in protest against a COVID-19 quarantine, Greece's government is picking up the pace of moving more to the mainland.

More than 700 of the 12,500 from the former Moria camp were going to be taken off the island, said the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency (ANA) after  locals and officials who once welcomed them had grown weary of trying to deal with the numbers.

Some 2,500 refugees and asylum-seekers are to be relocated overall, following Coronavirus tests, according to the migration ministry. 

Germany has offered to take 1,500 asylum-seekers from Greece, including former Moria residents and France said it would take 500 minors but most other European Union countries have refused to help after closing their borders to them.

Greece’s Special Secretary for the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors said as Sept. 29 there were no children without a parent or guardian staying at the migrant reception and identification centers (RICs) on the eastern Aegean islands or at the land border with Turkey in Evros.

“Our country has taken an important in the protection of this population and is in a position to more successfully fulfill its international commitments,” Eirini Avgenaki said in a post on Facebook, reported Kathimerini.

“There are no more unaccompanied minors at the RICs on the islands or the Evros camp,” she said, adding that figures from the National Center for Social Solidarity showed 1,752 unaccompanied minors staying at RICs in end-February, when the total number across the country stood at 5,379.

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