THESSALONIKI – While unrest in detention camps where refugees and migrants are being held are fairly common in Greece, riot police in Thessaloniki were called to break up a riot of migrant teens at a hostel where they are being housed and detained nine of them.
The hostel is home to some 30 unaccompanied migrants who went on a rampage over allegedly poor food and internet services at the facility.
Police said residents set fire to their mattresses and caused extensive damage. All those detained were from Pakistan. There are some 2,500 unaccompanied migrants in Greece among the more than 64,000, including 15,000 on islands.
Many have been waiting up to two years for asylum applications to be processed during a suspended European Union swap deal that has seen Turkey continue to allow human traffickers send more to nearby Greek islands.
With the European Union closing its borders, the problem has been dumped largely on Greece, to where the refugees and migrants first go from Turkey, where they initially went to escape war, strife and economic woes in their homeland.
Conditions at detention centers and camps on the islands are woeful, human rights groups and activists have continued to say, their complaints and pleas ignored by the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras who had said he was “proud” of the camps that critics said were uninhabitable in some cases.
(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)