Members of the right-wing group “Enomenoi Macedonia” (United Macedonians) has stirred controversy after organizing a pork kebab and alcohol barbeque protest against the transfer of migrants to the Greek mainland.
The event, which took place on Sunday near the Diavata migrant camp in Macedonia, saw the group purpose to offer pork souvlakia, local wine and beer at the entrance of the migrant camp in what they described as a “new and unique protest,” news outlets including the Greek Reporter and London’s The Times reports.
The protest did not go entirely to plan, however, due to counter-protest from the leftist group Keerfa who said of the event that it was “clearly guided by racist motives, insulting the religious beliefs of people who were driven out of their homelands by conflicts or poverty.”
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The demonstration was, instead, moved to the centre of Diavata where protestors marched while holding Greek flags and crosses.
Police say that the night before the protest, far-right activists attempted to force their way into the nearby migrant camp but were unsuccessful.
Prior to the event, left-wing Syriza MP Haris Mamoulakis condemned the event saying it “shows disrespect for the religion of the refugees and the immigrants.”
Tensions in Greece have been high since the government announced that some 5,000 migrants would be redistributed from over-crowded migrant camps in the Aegean to the Greek mainland.
Greece Evacuates More Migrants from Islands Fearing New Migrant Wave https://t.co/JT2mmDIBh7
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Many of the migrants sent to the mainland were previously house don the island of Lesbos where the Moria camp, which is designed to house around 3,000 people., currently has a population of around 15,000.
Tensions in Lesbos have also been high in recent months with two Afghan migrants, a woman and a child ending up killed after a riot broke out in the camp in September and led to a fire that spread across the camp.
Only weeks later on the island of Samos, another fire erupted in a migrant camp holding around 6,000 people after a fight between Afghans and Syrians over food.