In an effort to mitigate the reactions by local communities to a government plan to expropriate land on the islands of the North Aegean and build new detention centres for migrants and refugees, Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis sent a letter to island mayors asking them to list damages to property caused to migration to receive compensation.
According to the ministry, the mayors of the islands hosting overcrowded camps should record in detail the damages caused in 2019 within their municipal boundaries by those living in the camps by 30 March.
Relations between regional authorities and the ministry have progressively soured, with the council of the North Aegean Region on Tuesday voting to take legal action against a legislative act to expropriate land and properties on Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros for the creation of closed centers for asylum seekers.
The council also agreed to suspend all cooperation with the government until it repeals the act that will enforce the measures. A planned meeting with Mitarakis on Thursday has also been cancelled.
It its resolution, the council described the act as an undemocratic action and called for the immediate decongestion of the overcrowded facilities.
Islanders from Lesvos will hold a protest rally outside the Interior Ministry later on Thursday.