Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarakis paid a visit to the hot spot of Kara Tepe on the island of Lesvos at midnight Tuesday. The Minister inspected the living conditions of the approximately 7,000 asylum-seekers in the camp, where icy conditions prevailed, and “issued instructions for their improvement,” state media reported.
“The extraordinary weather conditions have not created any problems. Any problem is dealt with without disturbing the community’s normality,” Mitarakis posted on social media on Wednesday.
Πραγματοποίησα αυτοψία στο προσωρινό ΚΥΤ στο Μαυροβουνι Λέσβου. Οι έκτακτες καιρικές συνθήκες δεν έχουν δημιουργήσει ιδιαίτερα προβλήματα και αντιμετωπίζονται, χωρίς να διαταραχθεί η κανονικότητα της δομής. #ΥΜΑ #μεταναστευτικό pic.twitter.com/ghdgkG9krN
— Νότης Μηταράκης – Notis Mitarachi (@nmitarakis) February 16, 2021
Blankets and heating devices had been distributed to Kara Tepe residents in the days ahead of the arrival of the cold front, media reported.
Reaction to Minister’s post came from NGO Doctors Without Borders right away:
Would you spend one night in any of these tents in sub 0°C temperatures @nmitarakis? Would you allow your children to do it? There is nothing "regular" about structures such as #KaraTepe in any of the Greek islands. People need to be moved out and put in dignified conditions. https://t.co/N254tXeGFt
— MSF Sea (@MSF_Sea) February 17, 2021
The Minister’s extraordinary visit to KaraTepe in the middle of the night took place after ongoing footage posted on social media showed terrible living conditions due to harsh weather.
Yesterday night: No electricity, heavy reain, very cold wind. This is again our reality. pic.twitter.com/MDggH52dk8
— Moria Media Team (@MoriaMediaTeam) February 16, 2021
Αυτή την εικονα επιβίωσης ανθρώπων στη #Moria2 και στο #KaraTepe την αφιερώνω στους κτηνώδεις πολιτικούς που μας κυβερνούν
— Marka1 (@Marka149133376) February 14, 2021
Just now: A thunderstorm & lots of rain on Lesvos. This is what it looks like in #Moria2. 5 months after it opened. Do you see the winterised & insulated tents the @EU_Commission & @nmitarakis are always talking about? No? Well, they they don't exist.#LeaveNoOneBehind #Karatepe pic.twitter.com/niamG6pYU9
— DunyaCollective (@DunyaCollective) February 11, 2021
#Moria #Moria2 #KaraTepe #LeaveNoOneBehind #Refugeesgr
A cold and rainy and no electricity day pic.twitter.com/OQy2vYQWcR
— Moria (@refugeemoria2) February 14, 2021
Support groups have called on local authorities and the Church to provide heated shelter to “2000 refugee children freezing in the cold winter.”
It looks, though, that the Minister visited only the center of the camp and did not bother to inspect also the outskirts of the huge installation right next to the sea.
#refugeesgr Kara Tepe prison, extreme weather conditions, 7.500 people without electricity #antireport pic.twitter.com/y5yganZRA3
— NoBorders (@Refugees_Gr) February 16, 2021
Not much better is the situation of refugees on the island of Samos where some 700 refugee children are suffering in the cold wind blwoing with intensity of 10 Beaufort, local media reported citing the local UNHCR.
On the island of Chios, the the network of social health centers describes the situation in VIAL camp as “hell.”
Δίκτυο Αλληλεγγύης Κοινωνικών Ιατρείων
Χίος – (ΚΥΤ) Κέντρο υποδοχής και ταυτοποίησης – ΒΙΑΛ
"Αν η κόλαση είχε όνομα θα έφερε τον τίτλο αυτού του κειμένου"https://t.co/K0ePZcksmd#Refugeesgr #Chios pic.twitter.com/gm5N9Q3wsn
— Եհҽմɾցíɑ_ցօҽԵíɑ ⛧ (@Theurgia_Goetia) February 17, 2021