The municipal council in the capital of Lesvos has voted to oppose government plans to create a closed pre-departure center on the eastern Aegean island, which is on the front line of the refugee and migration crisis and home to the notoriously overcrowded Moria camp.
The government plans to close the Moria reception and processing center, which currently hosts some 15,600 refugees and migrants, and create a pre-deportation center with a capacity of 5,000-7,000.
In a lengthy session that ran into the early hours of Tuesday, the Mytilini Municipal Council also heard from local community and agency representatives who are opposed to the plan of “yet another facility.”
In an announcement following the session, the council demanded that thousands of migrants and refugees be transferred off Lesvos to other facilities on the mainland and that the Moria camp be kept for asylum seekers, though only as far as its capacity allows.
The municipal authority on the island of Samos has also reacted to plans for another such pre-deportation facility there.