Social Issues

Moria refugee camp dwellers spend third night unsheltered

(Update 1: Adds EU statement on pact, graphs 12-16)

Athens, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- The more than 12,000 people who inhabited the devastated Moria refugee camp, on the Greek island of Lesbos, have spent their third night out in the open, sleeping on blankets, cardboard or – in the best of the cases – in small tents away from the flames.

On Thursday afternoon, a third fire wiped out what little was left of the field. The olive grove that surrounded the regular facilities and in which most of the refugees lived, was also destroyed, since the camp itself, with housing containers, only had the capacity for about 3,000 people.

The Greek government’s problem is no longer limited to providing shelter for the 3,500 people who had initially been left homeless, but for all residents, with the exception of the slightly more than 400 minors who were transferred to the mainland.

The night passed calmly, according to local media. Tensions during the day were high, as barricades were set up by the local population to block the path of machinery needed to flatten an area to establish a new provisional field.

A source from the Migration Ministry told Efe that the resistance did not come only from the local population but also from many migrants, adding that they all have the same goal in common: to leave the island as soon as possible.

Government spokesman Stelios Petsas said Thursday that this would not happen.

On Thursday, the supply of food and water was restored, and after two days without food, thousands of people queued to eat.

The Migration Ministry reported that the necessary material for accommodation has already been transferred to the island, which “will be placed in a safe place.”

In a brief statement to indicate what has been achieved so far, the ministry said it is making “all possible efforts to address existing problems, as well as to find a solution to provide housing” for migrants.

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