LESBOS, Sep 2 (Reuters / EP) –
Greek authorities have begun this Monday to displace hundreds of asylum seekers from the countryside of the island of Lesbos, which houses 11,000 migrants and refugees, four times the number of people for whom it was built.
Some 635 people, mostly families, have embarked on a trip to the north of mainland Greece on a passenger ship and during the day more inhabitants of the countryside will be transferred, most of whom have fled war or poverty in Asia , Africa and the Middle East.
The five camps for asylum seekers from the Greek islands are overcrowded, so the Greek government announced on August 31 a series of measures to deal with the problem, among which is the transfer of people to the continent.
The Moria camp, a former military base in Lesbos, has been criticized by Human Rights organizations for the very precarious living conditions offered. Currently this site houses the largest number of people for three years, and violence is the order of the day. Rural women have told aid organizations that they feel insecure and an Afghan boy died last month in a fight.
More than half of the 56,000 migrants arriving on the northern Mediterranean coast this year have been welcomed in Greece, which is the main gateway to Europe for Syrian, Afghan and Iraqi migrants. The figure seems small compared to the million people who fled to northern Europe through Greece in 2015, before the European Union and Turkey closed the agreement that managed to almost completely cut off that flow of migrants, although thousands of people They are still trying to reach Europe through the Balkan route and many thousands are still in Greek territory.
Last week about 7,000 people arrived on the coast of Greece, the largest number since the aforementioned agreement with Ankara was signed. Only last Thursday, 12 boats arrived on the Greek beaches, with more than 600 migrants and refugees on board, which has motivated the Government to convene an emergency meeting of the Council for Foreign Affairs and Defense.
Other measures that Greece will take to deal with the problem of overpopulation of the fields on the islands will be the more intense control of the borders and accelerate the deportations of those asylum seekers whose applications are rejected.