MEPs call for end to humanitarian crisis on Greek islands

MEPs call for end to humanitarian crisis on Greek islands

More than 100 members of the European Parliament are calling on the Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA) and European Union interior ministers to take immediate action to end the ongoing humanitarian crisis on the Greek islands where more than 46,000 migrants live in shelters that have a total capacity of 8,000 people.

A letter signed by 105 MEPs from five political groups – the European Left, the European Socialists, the European Greens, the European People’s Party and Renew Europe – said migrants are living in miserable and unsafe conditions, lacking access to medical care, sanitation and basic goods such as food.

They added that the transfer of migrants to the mainland does not necessarily mean an improvement of living conditions as these camps are also at full capacity.

Meanwhile, small-scale clashes occurred on Friday between police and a group of African asylum seekers who blocked a road outside the Moria camp on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos to protest against Afghan migrants who, they said, attack them regularly.

Police reportedly used tear gas to disperse the protesters.

At the same time, a fire broke out in an abandoned house in Moria which was completely destroyed.

In the meantime, the government published a joint ministerial decision on Friday naming 12 countries that are considered safe for the return of failed asylum seekers, the Athens-Macedonian News Agency reported.

The decision, signed by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, lists the countries as Ghana, Senegal, Togo, Gambia, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Albania, Georgia, Ukraine, India and Armenia.

The new asylum law states that a country can be deemed safe for an asylum seeker if an examination of their application shows that they have not cited “serious reasons why the country is not a safe country of origin for the applicant.”

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