Almost 7,000 refugees are currently living in the temporary refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, including more than 2,000 children. Aid organizations report of traumatized girls and boys who tear their hair out of desperation.
A new warehouse is to be built next to a landfill
The new camp for refugees is to be built in the northeast of the island, a few kilometers from a landfill. A gravel road leads to the private property that the authorities want to rent. Vastria is the name of the area. There is still only one meadow here.
The EU has simply not finished examining the funding application for the new camp on Lesbos, the Greek migration minister Notis Mitarachi recently opposed to a request from SPIEGEL. He also admits: At the moment it does not look as if the completion in September is a realistic one.
Too many fences, too little education
The responsible EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson wants to build an open, humane camp. There should be an entrance control, but not a prison. Johansson speaks of schools for children “so that precious years are not lost”.
The Greek government of Prime Minister Kyrgiakos Mitsotakis, on the other hand, repeatedly speaks explicitly of “closed camps”. He was elected with the promise to bring order to migration policy. The closed camps were an important part of the strategy to calm the residents of the Aegean Islands.
Angry residents chased policemen off the island once before
But Mitsotakis is under pressure. Many voters on Lesbos do not want a new camp at all, only a slim majority voted after a long struggle in the decisive municipal council for a new “closed” camp on Lesbos. Protests took place again in February, reminiscent of the uprising a year ago. At that time, protesters chased police off the island to secure the construction of a new camp. The government wanted to turn Lesbos into a “warehouse for souls,” warned the demonstrators. The regional governor Kostas Moutzouris praised their militancy, he is a party friend of Mitsotakis.
Before leaving for Greece, Johansson wrote down her thoughts in a blog post. Spring, she writes, is the perfect time to prepare for winter.
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