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Residents from Greek islands protest in Athens against building new migrant camps

Residents from Greek islands protest in Athens against building new migrant camps

Greek residents from islands harboring thousands of asylum-seekers staged a protest in Athens on Thursday against plans to build new camps. Dozens of demonstrators, including officials from the islands of Lesbos, Chios and Samos gathered outside the Greek Interior Ministry, AFP reported.

The new conservative government which came to power in July has announced that the present camps, which are stretched several times beyond capacity, will be shut down this year. They are to be replaced with new, smaller facilities.

The initiative has been opposed by authorities and residents on the five Aegean islands with camp facilities, which include Leros and Kos. The islanders demand the immediate removal of most of the asylum-seekers.

The government this week caused further anger by announcing that land could be requisitioned for a three-year period to build the new facilities.