A meeting between Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Kostas Moutzouris scheduled for Thursday in a bid to de-escalate tension on the islands has been canceled after a video emerged of the North Aegean regional governor criticizing the conservative prime minister while making an obscene gesture.
“After this vulgar behavior we have nothing to say with Mr Moutzouris,” sources close to the prime minister said adding that Mitsotakis’ meeting with the five island mayors was still on.
Speaking on Skai radio, government spokesman Stelios Petsas called Moutzouris “colorful and dangerous,” adding that an apology would not be accepted.
After extensive clashes between officers and islanders that left 62 people injured on the eastern Aegean islands of Lesvos and Chios, the government announced on Wednesday that it was withdrawing most of the riot police units that were stationed there to counter fierce reaction to the creation of new, closed migrant camps.
Speaking to Kathimerini, an official from the Ministry of Citizens’ Protection confirmed what government spokesman Stelios Petsas had said earlier on Wednesday to Alpha TV, that the decision to withdraw riot units was taken after the completion of the first phase of preparatory work for the construction of the centers.
The main protests took place in the areas of Diavolorema, Kavakli and Karava on Lesvos, where the government is expropriating land to build the centers.
During the clashes, locals hurled stones at police, who responded with tear gas, resulting in the injury of 43 officers and 10 islanders, according to the Hellenic Police (ELAS).
On Chios, local residents reportedly barged into a hotel near the construction site of a new camp and injured eight off-duty officers who were staying there.