More protests against new island centers on the way

More protests against new island centers on the way

The regional governor for the northern Aegean islands has thrown his weight behind calls by local mayors and residents to halt construction of closed centers for migrants and refugees. 

Constantinos Moutzouris will head a meeting on Lesvos on Friday to organize further action against government plans that also foresee the eventual closure of existing reception centers, including the notorious Moria hotspot. 

Speaking to Kathimerini, Moutzouris called for immediate measures to decongest the islands and step up border security, while urging authorities to scrutinize the operation of NGOs and compensate locals for the impact of immigration.

After holding talks with several ministers in Athens on Wednesday, Moutzouris met with island mayors. 

West Lesvos Mayor Taxiarchis Verros objected to the site designated by the government for the construction of the new center on the island, saying it lies next to a waste transfer station and a wind farm. He also said the area in western Lesvos, called Skamioudi, is dry and lacks water supply. 

Meanwhile, after protests by Chios Deputy Mayor Haris Bournias, government officials said the capacity of the new center would not exceed 4,000.

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