Greek islands ‘cut-off’ ties with Government after proposal to requisition land to build more migrant camps



Greek islanders are up in arms over a proposed legislative act by the government that will requisition land on the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros to build more migrant detention facilities.

The proposed legislation prompted the North Aegean Region (NAR) to announce on Thursday that it is suspending cooperation with the Greek government until it repeals its requisition plan.

The NAR condemned a legislative act by the government calling it an anti-democratic act, adding that it intended to pursue the matter in court, and to inform the Greek and European Parliament parties, and called for the immediate decongestion of the islands.

Municipal councils at the North Aegean islands of Lesvos and Chios convened on Monday and each decided a series of measures against the government’s recent decision to requisition land on the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros to build detention facilities for the housing of rejected asylum applicants.

The Lesvos city council decided to establish guard and patrol groups in the area near Karava, where the new facility is said to be built, and also decided to set up a committee to coordinate these and further actions. It also decided to hold an open public assembly at the Madamados multicenter on Wednesday afternoon. It will also invite the migration minister to attend an upcoming meeting of the west Lesvos city council. Finally, the Lesvos city council decided to appeal the requisition plan to the administrative courts and the Council of State.

Meanwhile, the Chios municipal council also expressed its opposition to the takeover of land at the island’s location known as ’17’, and further decided to set up a committee, with the assistance of the Chios Bar Association and the Technical Chamber, to appeal against the requisition procedure and any other judicial acts related to it. It was also decided that no municipal service or legal entity would contribute to the creation of the facility on the island. Finally, the Chios city council called on its citizens to be on alert.

Following the decision of the municipal council of Mytilini to reject the planned structure and to insist on the closure of existing ones, including the Moria hotspot, the mayor of Mytilini, Stratis Kitelis noted that mayors had decided not to attend a Thursday meeting with the government in Athens after the requisition act, but would attend the mobilisation of the Lesbian and Aegean Associations at Thursday’s scheduled rally outside the interior ministry.