Chios residents tense over rumors of new refugee camp


Speculation that authorities are planning to construct an additional migrant reception center to ease congestion at the existing hot spot on the eastern Aegean island of Chios has sparked a new wave of protests among locals.

Amid rumors that Defense Ministry crews are making preparations at the Kagiava army camp, in the center of the island, to make space for a new “closed-structure” facility, residents of the nearby villages of Vessa and Aghios Georgios Sykousis are meeting Saturday to decide on their next steps.

Meanwhile, tension is on the rise inside the notorious Vial facility, which is currently hosting 973 individuals, where there were three suicide attempts last week.

Speaking to Kathimerini, Chios hospital chief Eleni Voutierou said that poor conditions were putting additional strain on migrants’ psychological state.

“It’s hard for us to tell when a person who threatens to take their own life is telling the truth or if they are simply trying to join the vulnerable groups and thereby increase their chances of being granted asylum.”