Refugee Center Leader on Hunger Strike on Lesbos, Rips SYRIZA

June 27, 2018

Τhe leader of the refugee detention center on Lesbos has gone on a hunger strike, demanding the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition live up to repeated promises to help 8,000 stuck there up to two years while asylum applications were being reviewed.

Nikos Trakellis said he was “not satisfied” with the pledges of Migration Ministry General Secretary Andreas Gougoulis. “I want solutions, not promises,” he said, noting that there have been many pledges over the past three years but no action, reported Kathimerini.

The facility is overcrowded and human rights groups and activists said not fit for humans after video secretly taped last year by German media showed people living among feces and garbage and with women afraid to use the showers or toilets, fearing sexual assaults.

Gougoulis said efforts were being made to create facilities on the mainland so people can be transferred there, part of the same promises made repeatedly with almost nothing done to help and as violence has broken out sporadically over frustration.

Island officials and residents there, as on Samos and Chios in the Aegean, are also frustrated over government inaction as Turkey continues to let human traffickers send more refugees and migrants during a suspended swap deal with the European Union.


ATHENS - Upset over low wages and the refusal of their publishers to sign agreements for collective bargaining, Greek journalists went on a 24-hour strike on April 16, also complaining about a lack of media plurality.

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