Greece: Lesbos migrants march against new camp facility after Moria fire

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Hundreds of migrants, mostly women and children, protested in the Greek island of Lesbos on Monday after some people left homeless by fires which destroyed the Moria camp last week were moved into a new camp facility.

The migrants held signs and marched chanting “No camp. Freedom”, demanding to leave the island and be allowed to travel to mainland Europe.

Around 800 migrants and refugees have already moved into a new camp facility being built by the Greek army at a former military shooting range in Kara Tepe.

Almost 10,000 migrants have been sleeping rough along the stretch of road between Kara Tepe and the outskirts of Mytilene, the capital of Lesbos.

The Moria camp was built to house around 2,750 but overcrowding led to more than 12,500 people living in squalor and had been held up by critics as a symbol of the European Union’s migration policy failings.

Officials said Tuesday and Wednesday’s blazes were deliberately set by some camp residents who were angry at quarantine orders imposed after 35 people in Moria tested positive for COVID-19

Greece’s prime minister demanded the EU take greater responsibility for managing migration into the bloc.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis blamed some residents at the Moria camp for trying to blackmail his government by deliberately setting the fires that destroyed the camp.

But he said this could be an opportunity to improve how the EU handles a key challenge.