The number of migrants on hunger strike who have been admitted to hospitals has reached 78; of them 68 are in Athens hospitals and 10 in Thessaloniki. According to doctors of the support group, the majority of them has dehydration, beginning of kidney failure and heart palpitations. It is the 37th day of hunger strike.
Physician Thanasis Karabelis told Athens News Agency that “there was no immediate threat to life or fear of irreversible health damage for those hospitalized, as their kidney function has been restored”.
However he also added that there were 55 strikers who have stopped drinking water, warning that the number of those in hospitals is going to increase by the evening.
“There is a strong chance that someone might be left with a chronic health problem while at any moment we face the possibility of a sudden death. We are playing with fire,” Karabelis said.
The men on hunger strike are part of a 300 strong protest group of illegal immigrants who demand, all illegal immigrants to be granted residence permits and labour rights. The protesting immigrants, mostly from Morocco, have lived and worked on the island of Crete for more than 7-8 years.
Greek government rejected their demands and Government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis stated that
“no one would want us to reach the point where anyone, even through a hunger strike, could extort solutions of illegal legalisation, we insist that no mass legalizations will be made.”
Yesterday the government announced the decrease of needed social security stamps for migrants in order to renew their residence and work permit.
The pictures are from the official website of the hunger strikes here