Dutch charter plane carrying activists to Lesvos denied landing in Athens by Greek authorities

The activists planned to take illegal immigrants and refugees back to the Netherlands

A charter flight carrying Dutch activists en route from the Netherlands to Lesvos is expected to land at Eleftherios Venizelos Airport was refused landing permit for “security reasons”.

According to sources from the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum, who spoke to “THEMA”, the plane was full of Dutch activists who were coming to Greece to take refugees and transport them back to their country.

After being informed of their intentions, Greek authorities refused its landing, as, according to the same sources, their plan was contrary to the official policy of the Dutch government, which – at least so far – has not declared any willingness to take in refugees and immigrants under the relocation program. That was the reason why the plane with a capacity of 189 people was not allowed to land on the island.

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The ministry emphasises that “cooperation for the relocation of migrants to other European countries is done officially through the states and not through citizens’ initiatives”. According to the information sent to the Greek parties by the Citizens’ Movement from the Netherlands, Flight ED3040 left Rotterdam this morning for Mytilene where it was scheduled to stay for two 24 hours.

The same sources pointed out that the news of the plane’s arrival on the Greek island had become… known among those living in the Kara Tepe refugee camp with many of those hosted planning to go to the airport to leave for the Netherlands. “This would definitely cause us serious problems and for this reason, it was not allowed to land at the airport”, the same circles of the Ministry of Immigration commented to “THEMA”.