Greek authorities were working Monday to defuse tensions in the Moria migrant camp on Lesbos after two people died in a fire in the overcrowded facility.
“Thousands of migrants must be transferred to the mainland as soon as possible,” the mayor of the island’s capital Mytilini, Stratos Kytelis, told Skai TV. “It cannot continue like this.”
In Athens, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ cabinet was to meet to discuss steps. The government said last week that it plans to relocate 10,000 migrants from the Aegean islands to the mainland to ease the pressure.
A mother and her child died Sunday in fires in Moria and a nearby tent camp. The cause of the fire has not yet been clarified. The migrants then began rioting and clashed with police.
The camp, a part of the centre for processing asylum applications, was heavily damaged.
The authorities flew special police reinforcements to Lesbos overnight. On Monday, the situation on the island was still tense.
The camps on Greek islands in the eastern Aegean – Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Leros and Kos – were already overcrowded even before the recently accelerated influx of migrants from Turkey.
There are presently around 30,000 people, 16,000 more than in April, while the camps were built for around 6,000.