Migrants REFUSE to move into new accommodation on Lesbos and demand to be let into Europe as photos show extensive damage caused when camp was torched over covid rulesby Sophie Tanno For Mailonline
- Images show the extensive damage caused to Moria refugee camp when the fire broke out last Wednesday
- Greece resettled hundreds of migrants in a temporary new facility, hopes to have moved all of them this week
- A police officer said some of the migrants were refusing to move to the temporary tent camp
Some of the migrants who have been forced to relocate to new accommodation on the Greek island of Lesbos are refusing to move, after a fire destroyed their overcrowded refugee camp.
Greece has resettled hundreds of migrants in a temporary new tent facility and hopes to have moved all of them this week, government officials said on Monday.
Drone images show the extent of the damage caused to the Moria refugee camp when the fire broke out last Wednesday.
More than 12,000 people, mostly refugees from Afghanistan, Africa and Syria, are without shelter and are having to sleep out in the open without proper sanitation after the fire tore through the migrant camp.
Greece is now registering the migrants and testing them for the COVID-19 disease before channeling them into the temporary tent camp at Kara Tepe, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said, though a police officer said some were refusing to move to the facility.
'We expect that in the next three to four days all will be housed, a bit less than the (total number of) roughly 12,000 homeless,' he told reporters.
The Greek Ministry for Migration and Asylum is trying to persuade the migrants and refugees living on the streets, in the surrounding areas and even the rooftops and yards of nearby businesses, to move into a new facility.
Authorities have already moved some 400 minors from the island to the Greek mainland since the blaze for possible resettlement in other European countries.
About 600 migrants have so far been resettled in the temporary tent camp and 14 of them have tested positive for COVID-19, a government official said.
In the chaos following last week's fire, authorities lost sight of 35 people who had tested positive, deepening fears of an outbreak among migrants sleeping closely together without proper sanitation.
Last Friday, thousands of migrants protested against a new refugee camp being built on the island.
Clapping and chanting songs, the protesters demanding to leave the island were boisterous but peaceful on the road leading to the island's main town.
Some held up signs pleading for help from Germany, a favoured destination for many migrants and refugees who arrive in Greece from the nearby Turkish coast.
But the Greek government announced it would not be 'blackmailed' by the protesters and has no plans to relocate them away from the island.
Petsas repeated on Monday the government's suspicion that the fire was started deliberately 'by migrants who wanted to blackmail the government to leave the island'. An investigation into the cause of the blaze is continuing.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Sunday that Greece would build a permanent new migrant reception centre to replace the Moria facility.
Germany's Bild newspaper reported on Monday that Berlin is considering taking in thousands of refugees from Lesbos as a one-off gesture and also wants the Moria camp to be rebuilt and run by the European Union.