NEWS

Gov’t delegation visits Lesvos as Athens mayor calls for action on migrants

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Alternate Shipping Minister Christos Zois and other government officials were in Lesvos on Friday to consult with local authorities and with representatives of local businesses and seek to improve their response to a burgeoning migration crisis.

Although tensions on the eastern Aegean island appeared to have eased in recent days as thousands of migrants have been transferred to Piraeus, the influx from Turkey is continuing unabated. Authorities on Lesvos were scheduled to deliver a press conference at 3 p.m. on Friday.

As most of the migrants arriving in Piraeus continue to Athens and many end up camping in the city’s squares, Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis on Thursday held a council meeting to discuss the problem. Victoria Square is said to be particularly overcrowded. During the council meeting on Thursday, Kaminis accused successive governments of having “absolutely no plan” to deal with the relentless influx of refugees and migrants from the islands.

The decision by the previous SYRIZA-led government to shut down the Amygdaleza migrant facility, northwest of Athens, was a mistake, he said, adding that the outgoing administration gave the “wrong message” by transferring the migrants who had been staying there to central Omonia Square.