Conditions on Lesvos “explosive”, as refugees approach 6,000

Concerned citizens movement calls on need for immediate intervention by Greek Immigration Ministry

The living conditions on the island of Lesvos for the refugees and migrants are rapidly deteriorating, as the number of people arriving are rising. According to the Immigration Ministry’s centre assigned for the control and coordination on immigration and asylum, there are currently 5,862 refugees and migrants in hotspots on the Aegean island, with 4,345 of the total living at the Moria reception centre for registration and identification, which can only host 2,330. With the rise of refugees and migrants crossing into Greece images of past, with sleeping bags in the open have returned. A movement of concerned citizens named “Coexistence and Communication in the Aegean”, sent a letter to the Minister of Immigration Policy, Ioannis Mouzalas noting the increased flows of migrants and refugees into the eastern Aegean islands over the past weeks, stressing that the situation has become “disastrous” for both the arriving people and the islands, while they caution of the negative image conveyed abroad for the Greek island in general. “The constant tensions, the riots and the subsequent publicity dishonour us as a nation and citizens”, they write. The group request the immediate reinforcement of the Asylum Services staff in order to expedite asylum applications in a more just way. They also call for the urgent relocation of vulnerable groups (unaccompanied minors, women, elderly) to mainland Greece, as well as the leasing of accommodation for the excess number of migrants. Meanwhile, 200 more people have landed on Lesvos since Monday.