The operation to transfer 1,500 refugees and migrants from the hot spot of Moria on the island of Lesvos to Kilkis in northern Greece started early morning on Monday.
The first 635 people had packed their things and boarded on Caldera Vista ferry.
Another group of people will board on Aqua Blue that is scheduled to depart the port of Mytilene at 12 o’ clock noon. The ferries are expected to reach the north Greek mainland on Tuesday.
The majority of the refugees and migrants have been in Moria for quite some time and some of them did not want to go feeling unsure about their new settlement.
Massive evacuation of 1500 asylum seekers from #Moria #Lesvos started at 4:30 AM, all families. Greece is dealing w spike in #refugee arrivals. Some 11000 people live here under horrid conditions, more than 3X camp‘s capacity Here w colleague @stluedke @SPIEGELONLINE pic.twitter.com/2vdX04XjTx
— Giorgos Christides (@g_christides) September 2, 2019
One thousand people will go to a hospitality structure in Nea Kavala Kilkis and the remaining 500 to other structures in northern Greece.
In Nea Kavala there are already 924 refugees living in containers, even though officially 700 people from 25 different nationalities are accommodated in containers and 450 in tents.
Authorities prepare the ground for the tents to accommodate the new arrivals in Kilkis.
According to daily efsyn, though, the site is not even run by the state but is managed by the NGO Danish Refugee Council. The previous government was planning to close this structure.
The whole site is powered by two generators running since 2016 and are not in the best condition. On of the generators has been damaged since two months, and the entire structure was powered for some time in just two hours.
Also local authorities have expressed concerned about the new arrivals, especially on the ogurnds of water supply and garbage collection.
The Government decided on Saturday to relocate 1,500 refugees and migrants belonging to high-vulnerability group in an effort to decongest the overcrowded hot spot of Moria, especially after the well-organized mass arrival of 600 people on Lesvos last Thursday.
According to local media, 125 new arrivals were recorded from Sunday to Monday, September 1-2.
In the last few days, more than 1,000 people submitted asylum requests.
The statement by the new Regio9nal Governor of Northen Aegean, Kostas Moutzouris, is worth noting.
“The North Aegean islands should not be racially, religiously, or ethnically altered” he said during his sworn-in ceremony at the Municipality Theater of Mytilene and was applauded by the crowd.
Ps relocating 1,500 people from overcrowded Moria it won’t solve the problem. The hot spot has a capacity of 3,000 and is hosting more than 10,000 people.