As residents of Samos protested the government’s immigration policy on the eastern Aegean island Monday, Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas criticized local officials for resisting steps to tackle overcrowding.
Speaking to Real FM, Mouzalas admitted there is a problem of overcrowding at island centers but accused local authorities of resisting plans to create detention facilities for migrants who violated the law so as to tackle congestion at processing centers and streamline asylum claims.
He condemned local authorities on Chios, where riots have broken out twice in the past week, for back-pedaling from an initial agreement to build a new reception center larger than the existing facility at Souda.
Meanwhile on Samos, local authorities warned that the lingering presence of migrants was a threat to security and tourism.
"People’s sense of security has been shaken, social tolerance is running thin, toxicity is on the rise," Samos Mayor Michalis Angelopoulos told the rally.