The center-left Movement for Change coalition (KINAL) has attacked Greece’s conservative government saying that its poor handling of the migration crisis is responsible for the escalating tension on the eastern Aegean islands.
“The government defrauded the islanders and it continues to do so. It vowed to decongest [the islands]. Back in autumn we warned that none of the measures announced by the government would yield immediate results. They are solely responsible for the situation [on the islands],” KINAL said in a statement Tuesday, while urging authorities to take all necessary measures to restore “order and calm.”
On Tuesday, hundreds of migrants, most of them Afghan residents of Moria camp, rallied for a second day on Lesvos island to demand the faster processing of asylum requests. Meanwhile, local residents staged a separate protest calling for the camps to close.
KINAL alleged that authorities were only examining asylum applications submitted by individuals that arrived on the islands in 2020 in a bid to misrepresent the number of returns to Turkey.
Greece’s new Ministry for Migration and Asylum is focused on speeding up deportations and returns amid fears of an expected surge in migrant arrivals from Turkey as winter starts giving way to spring.