Greece steps up migrant transfers after Lesbos clashes

A migrant carries a woman during clashes with police outside the refugee camp of Moria on the Greek island of Lesbos, on September 29, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 01 October 2019

Greece steps up migrant transfers after Lesbos clashes

  • About 12,000 migrants and refugees are holed up in Moria camp, a collection of tents and shipping containers, according to data released by the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency

LESBOS: Greece will keep moving asylum seekers from overcrowded camps on its islands to the mainland, government officials said on Monday, after a woman died following clashes and a fire at a refugee camp on the island of Lesbos.
The violent clashes began at the Moria refugee camp on Sunday after a fire broke out inside a shipping container, one of the means Greek authorities use to house refugees. At least 17 people were hurt.
The migrant camp, the country’s biggest, is operating at almost four times its capacity.
The charred remains of a woman were taken to hospital, the Health Ministry said in a statement. Reports of a second victim remained unconfirmed, officials said, adding that the cause of the fire was under investigation.

FASTFACT

Nearly a million refugees, many of them fleeing war in Syria, crossed from Turkey to Greece’s eastern Aegean islands in 2015.

Deputy Citizen Protection Minister Lefteris Economou told reporters that 250 people would be transferred from Moria to the mainland by the end of Monday.
The issue would be discussed during a Cabinet meeting chaired by the prime minister, a government official said.
About 12,000 migrants and refugees are holed up in Moria camp, a collection of tents and shipping containers, according to data released by the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency. The government aims to move at least 3,000 people from its islands to the mainland by the end of October, the official said.
Moving asylum seekers from island camps to the mainland is not a new policy. It was announced by the conservative government last month as part of measures intended to deal with a resurgence in refugee and migrant flows from neighboring Turkey.
More than 9,000 people arrived in Greece in August, the highest number in the three years since the EU and Ankara implemented a deal to shut off the Aegean migrant route.

 


UK opposition chief Corbyn apologizes for Labour’s worst election debacle

Updated 57 min 42 sec ago

UK opposition chief Corbyn apologizes for Labour’s worst election debacle

  • But veteran socialist defended his far-left campaign platform and gave no clear indication of when he might step down
  • Labour’s campaign was dogged by voter doubts about its vague position on Brexit

LONDON: Britain’s main opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn apologized to supporters on Sunday for overseeing his Labour party’s worst election defeat since before World War II.
But the veteran socialist defended his far-left campaign platform and gave no clear indication of when he might step down.
“I will make no bones about it. The election result on Thursday was a body blow for everyone who so desperately needs real change in our country,” Corbyn wrote in the Sunday Mirror newspaper.
“I wanted to unite the country that I love but I’m sorry that we came up short and I take my responsibility for it.”
Thursday’s snap general election handed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives a mandate to take Britain out of the European Union at the end of next month.
Corbyn said on Friday that he would step down at some point early next year.
But the century-old party has no clear successor and is being riven by infighting within its senior ranks.
Labour’s campaign was dogged by voter doubts about its vague position on Brexit and allegations of anti-Semitism within the party’s senior ranks.
Corbyn tried to shift the campaign’s focus on bread-and-butter social issues traditionally important to Labour voters.
“But despite our best efforts, this election was ultimately about Brexit,” Corbyn admitted in his letter.
“The Tory campaign, amplified by most of the media, managed to persuade many that only Boris Johnson could ‘get Brexit done’,” he said in reference to Johnson’s campaign slogan.
“We will learn the lessons of this defeat, above all by listening to those lifelong Labour voters who we’ve lost in working class communities.”