Ten­sions ris­ing at mi­grant cen­ters as in­flux con­tin­ues

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Ten­sions are build­ing at re­cep­tion cen­ters on the is­lands of the east­ern Aegean as the in­flux of mi­grants ar­riv­ing from neigh­bor­ing Turkey con­tin­ues un­abated while de­par­tures are mov­ing at a sig­nif­i­cantly slower rate.

An av­er­age of be­tween 80 and 90 mi­grants reach the is­lands daily, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial fig­ures. The num­bers are a frac­tion of the thou­sands that were land­ing daily at the peak of the refugee cri­sis two years ago but they are in­creas­ing the pres­sure on al­ready over­crowded re­cep­tion cen­ters.

The two cen­ters on Lesvos were de­signed to host a max­i­mum of 3,500 but are cur­rently ac­com­mo­dat­ing 4,381. Chios is host­ing 2,204, twice the max­i­mum ca­pac­ity of 1,100, and the sit­u­a­tion is even worse at the Samos cen­ter, which is host­ing 2,879 peo­ple, more than three times the rec­om­mended max­i­mum of 850.

Over­crowded con­di­tions lead to fre­quent brawls at the cen­ters, of­ten be­tween mi­grants of dif­fer­ent eth­nic back­grounds.

The Ital­ian Navy’s train­ing ves­sel Pal­in­uro ar­rived at Pi­raeus on Satur­day. The schooner will re­main moored there un­til to­mor­row. Mem­bers of the public can visit from 10 a.m. to noon and from 4 to 6 p.m. to­day.

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