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Greek Island Mayors Facing Refugee Inflows Call on PM to Take Action

Photo © UNHCR/A. McConnell

Photo © UNHCR/A. McConnell

The mayors of five Greek islands subjected to massive inflows of refugees urged Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in a meeting on Monday, to take immediate action and relieve the island communities of the increasing burden adding that they have reached their limits with the local economies and tourism industry set to take the blows.

During the meeting, which ended without a commitment by Tsipras, the mayors of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros, requested that migrants be moved elsewhere in order to proceed with the necessary works to modernize the housing units and hotspots. Specifically, they demanded the immediate relocation of 7,000 refugees to mainland Greece and are insisting that no more migrant centers be erected on their islands.

They also demanded that the refugees be ensured humane conditions and that other regions in Greece as well as within the EU should participate with a fair share of the problem. They further requested the implementation of “a serious growth and social program to compensate for the substantial losses suffered for two years by the local communities and economies due to the inefficient response by both national and international authorities’’.

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