Minister seeks compromise with hunger strikers

Justice Minister Haris Kastanidis said on Thursday that the government would try to offer a compromise to 287 economic migrants who are in the fifth week of a hunger strike in a bid to get legal status, saying that authorities would reexamine the migrants? status.

?The government does not want a single life to be lost,? Kastanidis said, noting that the migrants could be granted temporary residence status until their requests for legal residence are reviewed. Of the 287 migrants, 237 are in Athens and 50 in Thessaloniki with nearly 100 of the protesters receiving hospital treatment for organ failure.

Meanwhile government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis accused members of an initiative supporting the hunger strikers of hypocrisy.

Responding to reports that one of the doctors monitoring the health of the migrants had claimed that the government ?wants someone to die,? Petalotis called on ?all those who claim to support the struggle of the immigrants to realize that they have no right to play with the lives of these people nor with the fate of the country?s profile on a global level.?

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