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Moria: Blame Game as refugees and migrants might freeze to death on Lesvos

Who is responsible for the inhuman living conditions amid severe snow weather for thousands of refugees and migrants stuck on the islands of Lesvos? Everybody in charge – even thought all sides involved zealously exercise the famous Blame Game as the lives of thousands at the freezing-cold hot spot of Moria are at risk.

After reports from the island showed pictures of men, women, children and elderly having to come through the bitter cold in tents covered by snow, the outcry was huge.

International NGOs blamed the Greek government and so did the UNHCR and the European Commission. Some claimed that the “Warehouses on the island were full with goods.” However, it was never explained what kind of goods were in the warehouses and how could they comfort the freezing people.

The EC said that it is first of all on the responsibility of the Greek government to secure living conditions for the refugees.

The Greek government initially kept silent, while the opposition parties accused the government of “inability to deal with and manage the situation.”

Monday afternoon in the Greek Parliament, Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas came under harsh criticism. He admitted partial “responsibility for the situation”. On his part, he blamed the local authorities and local politicians of New Democracy for having objected the establishment of new hot spots on the island.

In a last minute move, the government in cooperation with the UNHCR and local hotel owners apparently arranged the transfer of vulnerable groups.

However, the local Association of Hotel owners advised its members to refrain from renting their facilities to the UNHCR according to touristic renting scheme, claiming a relevant decision taken by the general assembly three months ago.

Speaking to news website NewsIt, the president of Mytilene Hoteliers Periklis Antoniou said “We understand the humanitarian aspect especially in these cold days, but we are morally committed to the Association recommendation. It is not us to solve the problem.” Antoniou hinted that the UNHCR knew about the upcoming cold and snow weather front.

Locals reported on Monday that taking pictures of tents under loads of snow was banned. Locals said there were enough empty state buildings and churches that could offer shelter.

On STAR TV, journalists blamed the European Commission for the suffering in the snow because “the EC gave 700million euros to NGOs” and not to the Greek government. According to Star TV, the majority of NGO left after the snow broke in, behind were left the government, the UNHCR and the Greek Army that considers to relocate the refugees from Moria to some military camps.

Meanwhile, the island of Lesvos is heavily hit by the snow with the effect that there are power outages.

+++ State broadcaster ERT reported at 9 pm, that “130 people are been currently relocated into a hotel.” And the Hoteliers need a general assembly meeting in order to revise their previous decision.

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  1. It’s very simple: all of the institutions involved — the Greek state, the European Commission, UNHCR — are to blame. The people who have saved many refugees’ lives are the NGOs, especially the Greek ones. And for this, they are continuously criticised by the Greek state…
    And of course, the people who are not responsible for this mess, as they do not wish to remain on Lesvos, are the migrants themselves. They are forced to remain there by decision of the EU and with the complicity of the Greek government. They are the ones who will die or suffer — while all the useless bureaucrats on high salaries go home to well-heated luxury housing.

    • The only thing going for the third pillar of this joke, the Greek “state”, is that it has a decent excuse as it is not a real state but an occupied colony of the 4th Reich.

      • Agreed, but how should we view the collaborators with the occupation? That includes all of Pasok, all of ND and most of Syriza. It also includes KKE and Xrysi Avgi as they have never shown an interest in helping Greece out of this mess…

        • The answer is simple: whoever after September 2009 has:
          1. voted in parliament in favour of the (unconstitutional) memorandums
          2. signed agreements with the Troika
          3. served in the cabinet of any government (with the exception of the first 6 months of 2015)
          is guilty of high treason and should face the consequences. The court should consider the cases not individually but massively and should issue the appropriate verdicts.