In Malakassa, Greece, local politicians and residents have criticised a move to house over 3,000 migrants in a camp next to the village of just 514 residents.
The Greek government has placed over 2,000 migrants in the camp in Malakassa since March in what NGO Human Rights Watch labelled as “unsanitary and cramped conditions” and within another structure built for deportation, housing 1,180 migrants.
According to the Municipality of Oropos where Malakassa is located, the original plans put forward in 2016 stated that only 400 migrants would be housed at the facility, newspaper Proto Thema reports.
“Today, in violation of the agreement of the original request and despite the protests of the municipal authority, their number reaches 2,200,” the local council of Malakassa stated.
“In addition, on March 15th, 2020, amid a ban on the uncontrolled movement of citizens due to coronavirus, the second structure was set up within the same camp to accommodate migrants for deportation,” they added and claimed it had been built despite protest from local officials and citizens.
Turkey: Migrants Will Return to Border After Coronavirus Outbreak Ends https://t.co/GgmAVC19Cv
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On the island of Chios, 1,044 citizens and local business owners sent letters to oppose the rental of a property by the Department of Immigration and Asylum to be used to temporarily house migrants for public health reasons due to the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.
Greek officials and others have previously expressed fears that Turkey may send migrants with coronavirus to Greece. Last week it was confirmed that several migrants who landed on the island of Lesbos earlier this month had the virus.
Greece has continued to warn that a new wave of migrants from Turkey could be coming to the Greek border soon. Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has also previously stated that once the coronavirus outbreak ends, he expected migrants would return to the Greek border.
“When the coronavirus pandemic is over, we are not going to deter any immigrants who want to return to the Greek-Turkish border in Pazar,” Soyilu said.