Europe Steps in and Accepts Minors from Immigrant Camp Fire

Germany has announced that 10 European countries so far have agreed to take at least 400 unaccompanied minors who fled Greece’s largest migrant camp when it was gutted by fire.

The Moria camp will be rebuilt

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that most of the children will go to Germany and France. Almost 13,000 immigrants had been living in filth and squalor at the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos.

Near the ruins of Moria, angry residents of the island blocked roads to stop charities from delivering aid to the refugees and said they were against the construction of new tents.
But the Greek military later bypassed the roadblocks and used helicopters to reach the site and have begun setting up replacement accommodation.

Families have been sleeping in fields and on roadsides after fleeing the blaze on Wednesday, while authorities struggle to find accommodation for them. image: Twitter

European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas announced that the devastated camp would be replaced by a modern facility at the same location. She was shown the full extent of the damage caused by the fires. The Moria camp was initially designed to house 3,000 migrants- not 13,000!. Over the last few years, people from 70 countries had been sheltered there, mostly from Afghanistan.

Locals ‘very angry’ over a camp replacement

Many local Greeks have had enough of the situation and want the migrants to leave the island now. They very strongly oppose plans to rebuild a temporary camp- Sanitary conditions are grim and there’s little running water, just washing is difficult. “Now is the time to shut down Moria for good,” Vangelis Violatzis, said a local municipal leader on Lesbos.

There is strong resistance from locals for a new camp to house them. “We don’t want another camp, and we will oppose any construction work. We’ve faced this situation for five years, it’s time for others to bear this burden,” local leader Vangelis Violatzis was quoted as saying.

The subject of immigrants divides EU countries

Italy and Greece have again accused wealthier northern countries of failing to do more, while a number of central and eastern nations are actually openly resistant to the idea of taking in a quota of migrants. Other countries expected to take in children include Switzerland, Belgium, Croatia, Slovenia, Luxembourg and Portugal, according to German reports. The fire at Moria was “a sharp reminder to all of us for what we need to change in Europe”, the interior minister

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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