Residents on the island of Lesbos have set up roadblocks to prevent the rebuilding of the notorious Moria migrant camp that burned to the ground earlier this week.
The residents set up the roadblocks to prevent authorities and other groups from restoring the camp, and have called for the over 10,000 migrants to be moved elsewhere.
According to a report for Greek newspaper Proto Thema, the atmosphere on the island has been tense since the fire which has resulted in migrants setting up temporary camps in various areas, including a cemetery.
“For five years now, the whole village has been suffering. We have suffered a burden that should have been suffered by the whole of Europe,” one resident told the newspaper. They added: “We’ve reached our limits. Is anyone thinking of us who see our property destroyed? We’re protesting. We don’t want this camp to be rebuilt.”
At Least 13,000 Migrants Homeless After Notorious Moria Camp Burns to the Ground https://t.co/ykEOk9bThK
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 10, 2020
The Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum responded saying that all of the migrants would be housed within a day and added that “blackmailing behaviour will not be tolerated”.
While locals have stated they want the migrants off the island, a ferry brought to house 1,000 migrants was also blocked by Lesbos residents on Thursday at the harbour of Sigri.
According to newspaper Kathimerini, the roads for the ferry were blocked to prevent equipment being unloaded that could help rebuild the Moria camp.
Local mayor of Mytilene Stratis Kytelis expressed support for the actions of the residents, saying he will push for the removal of the migrant camp on Lesbos entirely.
Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas, meanwhile, stated that only underage migrants would be evacuated from Lesbos after the fire and accused migrants of setting the fires that destroyed the camp.
“They thought that if they set fire to Moria, they would leave the island indiscriminately. Whatever those who set the fires had in mind, they can forget it,” he said.
Greek Landowner Discovers Makeshift Mosque Built by Illegal Migrants on Her Property https://t.co/QLYnO0LT4q
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 16, 2020
The comments come after Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi also blamed asylum seekers for the fires and Greek media reported that migrants had attacked firefighters.
Outside of Greece, 20 leftist members of the European Parliament have called on European Union member states to take in migrants from Moria.
“Now is the time for the EU to show stronger and practical solidarity in the management of the refugee crisis, supporting Greece and refugees,” the MEPs said.
Leader of Greek Island Community Warns Residents Angry Over Migration May Take Law ‘Into Their Own Hands’ https://t.co/uYuqB3k0ms
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 1, 2018