The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis made a statement about the fire in the Moria refugee camp in Lesvos and the situation there.
The detailed message of the Prime Minister:
“I express my regret for yesterday’s events in Moria. I recognize the difficult conditions. However, nothing can become an alibi for violent reactions to health checks. And, much more, for riots of this magnitude. The situation in Moria cannot continue because it is at the same time a matter of public health, humanity and national security.
The whole island is declared a state of emergency. Which means that all national resources and all national forces will assist it. All the unaccompanied children are already leaving from there today.
In fact, I informed the European authorities, with which we are in constant cooperation. The problem of managing migration waves is also primarily European.
Greece has already lifted a much heavier burden than its share. Tomorrow, the Vice President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, will visit Lesvos, with whom I will have a meeting on Friday.
The state mechanism was mobilized immediately: The people will be housed in suitable tents. Those who are positive for the coronavirus will receive treatment. And the inhabitants of Lesvos will be compensated and protected.
Already, a government team is on the ground. Detailed announcements will be made at six in the afternoon. No immigrant or refugee, however, will be allowed to travel. And there will be some restrictions on traffic and local activities.
It is something extraordinary, but absolutely necessary. And I am sure that our islanders will understand this and will join forces.
I remind you that more than 13.000 people have been transferred from Moria since the beginning of the year and things would have been, of course, much worse if in the meantime the state had not blocked new migrant flows.
Obviously, the controls at our maritime borders, which are also European, will continue. With the efficiency that so far has drastically reduced illegal entries. I believe that a bad experience can quickly turn into an opportunity for a better reality. And this will happen in Lesvos.
Once the damage in Moria has been assessed, and in consultation with the European Commission, we will take concrete initiatives. Our priority remains the health and safety of all. Residents and immigrants.
I emphasize, however, that Greece, with the support of Europe, knows and can defend security and peaceful life in its territory. Its national dignity, but together with its humanity towards the weak”.