Some 2,000 vulnerable refugees now homeless after the devastating fire in Moria camp, will be temporarily accommodated on board of a passenger ferry and two Navy landing ships, Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarakis announce don Wednesday.
The vessel, made available free of charge by the shipping company Blue Star Ferries, is expected to dock to Mytilene port later at night and take on board 1,000 people.
The two Navy landing ships are expected to arrive on Thursday and be used for temporary accommodation of asylum seekers.
The remaining 1,500 homeless refugees will accommodate in tents sent from various parts of Greece. Some already arrived per military aircraft late on Wednesday.
The tents camp will be set up in Moria, in areas least afflicted by the fire, as well as in nearby locations, yet to be specified by local authorities.
military camp Lemonou via local media stonisi.
According to local media, there is discussion to accommodated them in two abandoned military camps but local authorities seem to reject the plan.
Minister Mitarakis noted that “400 unaccompanied minors from the camp are being transferred away from Lesvos island to Thessaloniki, in northern Greece.” The EU offered to fund the transfer.
Of the 35 refugees rested positive to coronavirus, 8 were identified and isolated from the rest.
Next to thousands of tents and containers, also the camp’s administration premises, the premises of the Asylum Service and other administrative facilities were destroyed. Also, the new health unit’s intensive care area was burnt, while the accommodation areas of the camp’s general population, although extensively damaged, will be repaired.
The Minister added that “so far, no injuries, casualties or missing persons have been reported.”
Mitarakis stressed that the relocation of Moria refugees and asylum seekers to other EU member states is a request of the Greek government, and is already been discussed at EU-level.
The German Federal State of Northrhein-Westphalia has offered to accept 1,000 refugees, even if the Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer is against it.
Also Norway and the Netherlands have offered to take some of the 12,800 people currently in Moria camp.
The Migration Minister brought up again the issue of “closed controlled camps,” saying that the fire made such camps a necessity.
Of course, no EU member state like Greece can keep recognized refugees in closed and controlled camps.
According to media, the fires on Thursday night was set by refugees and asylum seekers infected with coronavirus who opposed to be in isolation.
Wednesday afternoon, a new fire broke out in the Moria hotspot, destroying what was left intact.