Statewatch article: RefNo# 37156
Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (20.9.16)
Statewatch News Online, September 2016
- Greece: Lesvos: Golden Dawn supporters stir up ugly scenes and "Guantanamo-style" Moira detention centre set on fire

Nine arrested after Greek refugee camp burns (BBC News, link):

"Nine people have been arrested after a large fire destroyed parts of the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos.

Up to 4,000 migrants were evacuated from the camp, as the blaze destroyed tents and prefabricated homes. No fatalities were reported, but large areas of the camp, which was already crowded, were left unusable. The Greek government said it would send a ship to hold at least 1,000 people as a temporary overflow area.

Early reports suggested a riot broke out as rumours of imminent mass deportations to Turkey spread. Other witnesses said it was the result of an argument over food.

The nine people arrested under suspicion of starting the blaze included people from Afghanistan, Iraq, Senegal, Syria and Cameroon, the AFP news agency reported, citing a police source. Additional riot police have been dispatched to the island."


See also: Fire At Moria: Thousands of Refugees Flee (News That Moves, link) and see: EU: Migrants to stay on Greek islands despite fire (ekathimerini.com, link):

"“The EU and Greece cannot carry on stockpiling refugees indefinitely on the Greek islands,” Amnesty International's Giorgos Kosmopoulos said.

“Witnessing the charred remains of Moria camp is shocking but comes as little surprise. Holding thousands of vulnerable people on Lesvos in appalling conditions with no knowledge of their fate inevitably creates an incendiary atmosphere of fear and despondency.”


Also: EU Commission found THE solution: Migrants will remain on Greek islands “as much as possible” (Keep Talking Greece, link):

"Finally! The European Commission found a solution for the Migration crisis in Greece and the Greek islands. During a press conference on Tuesday, the EC coordinating spokesperson, Natasha Bertaud, revealed the well-hidden plans:... EU Commission spo Bertaud says migrants will remain on islands "as much as possible"

To avoid secondary movement to the rest of Europe, that means keeping asylum seekers on the islands for the most part,” Bertaud said also and threw the ball in the court of the Greek government. She said “the Greek government had described the situation as being under control. Transfers to the mainland would remain limited,” Bertaud said.

If this is all the EC can say after the ugly incidents of Monday on the island of Lesvos, it is clear that the migrants will remain indefinitely on the Greek islands, the EU Turkey Deal was just a bunch of papers to use for packing Fish & Belgian Fries and that the European Union will send prayers and good vibes."


Statewatch correspondent reports (20.9.16): "Volunteers trying to get in to help. There are a lot of fascists around after weekend fascist rally who stirred up the locals, pretty ugly. The volunteers got in around the back in the end through a hole in the fence. At the weekend people trying to get in were greeted by angry mobs."

- Lesvos, Greece: Moria hot spot on fire – 4,000 evacuated, among them 150 unaccompanied minors (Keep Talking Greece, link):

"The hot spot in Moria was set on fire on Monday night after clashes between migrants and refugees groups of different nationalities. Some 3,000 to 4,00 people have been evacuated. Around 150 unaccompanied minors were brought in safety into a state nursery home.

The volume of the damage is not known, some tweet from the area that the camp has burned down. Greek police told foreign reporters that “all tents have burned down and some prefabricated units. A total disaster?

According to official figures, a total of 5,600 refugees and migrants are on the island of Lesvos in the eastern Aegean Sea. Some 4,000 are estimated to be in the Moria hot spot, the rest in the reception center of Kara Tepe."


See also: Thousands flee as blaze sweeps through Moria refugee camp in Greece - An estimated 4,000 people have been forced to leave the camp on Lesbos as strong winds fan the flames (Guardian, link)

Comment: Moira is a closed detention centre with "Guantanamo-style" fencing, razor wire, steel cabins and floodlights. It holds refugees mainly from Afghanistan and Pakistan and over a hundred unaccompanied children. Adjacent to it is the "open" Kara Tepe camp.

- Parents at northern Greek elementary school oppose admission of refugee children (ekathimerini.com, link):

"The parents’ association of an elementary school in the northern Greek town of Filippiada on Tuesday sent a memo to education authorities expressing their opposition to government plans to use school facilities to hold classes for refugee children staying at nearby camps...

The memo comes in the wake of a protest by parents in Oresteiada, also in northern Greece, opposing the admission of refugee children into the local school and threatening sit-ins if the government proceeds with its plans to provide schooling to hundreds of migrant and refugee children trapped in Greece."


- Are You Syrious (link):

Greece: More people in the already severely overcrowded islands

"As the overall number of people stranded in Greece continues to inch upwards, while relocation programs proceed at a snail’s pace, we take a look at the overall statistics.

In Chios, the number of refugees has reached an all-time high. Almost 4 000 people currently reside in its reception centers, exceeding the official capacity by 336%. As AYS has reported previously, this overcrowding creates a breeding ground for clashes, unrest and all sorts of mental and physical problems that can accompany such ill treatment of people."


Numbers in the islands reach an all time high

"Over the weekend, 308 people arrived in the northern Aegean islands over this weekend. For the first time since the border closings, more than 10 000 are stranded in the northern Aegean islands. Taking the other islands into consideration, a tota of 13 536 people are currently stuck in Greek island centers."

Volunteers needed!

"With these increasing number of arrivals, the volunteer group om Samos is announcing through all reliable channels that they urgently need more volunteers. Please, if you are willing and able, contact them here."

With solidarity and organization, people take over two camps in the Greek mainland

"In news that bring hope, we bring you stories from two camps in Greek mainland. In Lete Derveni, as were have reported, people were increasingly disillusioned by the empty promises of UNHCR and IOM to meet their basic needs. Refugees and independent volunteers raised their voices in protest and petitioned these big organizations to leave and let them, through their organized bodies for decision making, organize the camp. In an unprecedented turn of events, they succeeded. Currently, decisions in the camp are made by refugees and independent volunteers.... Power to them and all of us rooting over here!" Follow them on their FB page

© Statewatch ISSN 1756-851X. Personal usage as private individuals/"fair dealing" is allowed. We also welcome links to material on our site. Usage by those working for organisations is allowed only if the organisation holds an appropriate licence from the relevant reprographic rights organisation (eg: Copyright Licensing Agency in the UK) with such usage being subject to the terms and conditions oof that licence and to local copyright law. Statewatch is not responsible for the content of external websites and inclusion of a link does not constitute an endorsement.


Click here to return to your search results
For a print friendly version click here
To start a new search, click here
To return to the Statewatch home page click here
Statewatch, PO Box 1516, London N16 0EW, UK. Tel: + 44 (0)207 697 4266 Fax: + 44 (0)208 880 1727 email office@statewatch.org