Athens has temporarily suspended a plan to build asylum centers on five Greek islands after a massive revolt by residents who dumped tons of decaying life vests at one of the prospective build sites, according to reports.
Federal officials recently announced construction of the centers would be moving full speed ahead amid chaotic situations playing out on the Eastern Aegean Islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Kos, and Leros, where tens of thousands of migrants have completely overwhelmed local facilities and thousands more continue to arrive.
However, the scheme to replace makeshift camps with closed structures has been met with a furious backlash from residents – and even local officials – who believe the migrant centers and their occupants will effectively become permanent fixtures on their islands.
In a protest move #Lesvos municipality of West Lesvos moved all used lifejackets and rubber boats - gathered over the years of #refugee arrivals - to Karavas - the location where the new closed camp/detention centre is supposed to be built. https://t.co/htvAEDBZf1— Bruno Tersago (@BrunoTersago) February 15, 2020
“In a protest move against the new migration center, the municipality of West Lesvos transported thousands of used and rotten life vests and rubber boats to the area of Karavas on Saturday, where the new migration center is to be built,” Keep Talking Greece reports.
“Municipality trucks and local’s private vehicles brought tons of life jackets and rubber boats gathered over the years of the refugee crisis to the location where the new closed center is to be built.”
West Lesbos Mayor Taxiarchis Verros reportedly encouraged residents to contribute to the act of rebellion, telling them to gather life jackets and rubber dinghies discarded by boat migrants and currently decomposing in a pile estimated to be 13,000 cubic meters in size at a former campsite on the island.
"Let’s bring them to those [to whom] they belong,” Mayor Verros told his constituents. “They can decorate the new center with them, too."
Municipality trucks also helped form blockades at key roads leading to the build site, with Mayor Verros warning Athens the protests were "only the beginning."
Lesbos residents used rocks to create a giant Greek flag and the word "OXI" (no), Ekatherimini reports.
Corresponding demonstrations were also organized on other islands and in Athens.
In response, Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis announced the project would be briefly suspended pending further negotiations with islanders.
"Δώσαμε μια εβδομάδα προθεσμία στην τοπική αυτοδιοίκηση να υποδείξει άλλους χώρους, κατάλληλους και διαθέσιμους, για την κατασκευή κλειστών ελεγχόμενων δομών στα νησιά". Συνέντευξη μου στο ΘΕΜΑ Radio 104.6 και τους δημοσιογράφους @Bkoutras και @felnicos— Νότης Μηταράκης (@nmitarakis) February 17, 2020
"We gave the local government a week to designate other sites, suitable and available, for the construction of closed controlled structures on the islands," Minister Mitarakis said in a radio interview.
Approximately 75,000 migrants arrived in Greece in 2019, with roughly 60,000 traveling by sea, according to the U.N. refugee agency. More than 3,000 have already arrived in 2020.
Greece's eastern islands have suffered the brunt of an endless migration flow that rapidly escalated again during the second half of 2019, as Infowars Europe has regularly reported.
Hillary Clinton believes she has three covert pathways to the White House.
Also, support your body by getting all the vitamins and minerals you need with the Ultra 12 and Vitamin Mineral Fusion Combo Pack now at 50% off!
(PHOTO: LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP via Getty Images)Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst