Just over 6% of the 12,500 refugees who are homeless after the fire at Moria last week, have been rehoused in a new temporary facility under construction, authorities announced on Monday.
By Monday afternoon, about 800 people had entered the new tent city, while thousands remained camped out for a sixth day along a road leading from Moria to the island capital of Mytilene. Police blocked the way into town to prevent asylum-seekers trying to board ferries for the Greek mainland instead of entering the new camp.
Greece’s Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis said that the new camp on a former military firing range at Kara Tepe, can accomodate 5,000 people. The migrants entering Kara Tepe are tested for Covid-19 as part of the registration process.
However, many are unwilling to settle in. On Monday, migrants and children stranded on the streets staged a protest demanding they be allowed to leave the island.
Last Tuesday night, a fire broke out at Moria Camp on the island of Lesvos at approximately 2 am after clashes began when some of the 35 refugees who tested positive for Covid-19 refused to move into isolation with their families.
Greece will build a permanent migrant reception centre on Lesvos to replace the overcrowded refugee camp destroyed, Prime Minister Kyriakos announced over the weekend.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday said that support to Greece over the migration issue and the Moria hotspot must be organized at European level.
Responding to a question during a press conference following the EU-China leadership teleconference, Merkel said that “support for Greece must be organized at European level, as much as possible. But Germany feels responsible, and we will think more about it,” especially who is in greater need and who could come to Germany, she said.