Greece races to move refugees from island likened to a 'new Lesbos'

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Friday, February 22, 2019
Greece races to move refugees from island likened to a 'new Lesbos'

Author: Helena Smith | The Guardian | 22 February 2019

A man peers out from behind a fence surrounding the overcrowded reception facility on the Greek island of Samos

Greek authorities are scrambling to house almost 4,000 people crammed into an overflowing migrant camp in Samos, as aid groups warn of a “humanitarian disaster” on one of Europe’s forgotten frontlines.

Likening Samos to a “new Lesbos,” the country’s migration minister warned of a race against the clock to find suitable accommodation for the ever growing number of people trapped in a reception centre now six times over capacity.

“Samos is our biggest problem. The flows are constant and traffickers, it seems, are always one step ahead,” Dimitris Vitsas said in an interview at his office in western Athens. “The camp there is very overcrowded, with all the problems that this means. I have to move at least 2,000 people from the island as soon as possible.”

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