Local residents of the village of Moria on the Greek island of Lesbos are holding a protest in response to continued outbreaks of violence at the notorious migrant camp nearby.
Moria has become synonymous with safety and security concerns due to two successive weeks of vandalism and fierce clashes between rival ethnic groups and police. While migrants are complaining about poor living conditions and slow asylum application processes, the situation has not been helped by the fact that the influx of more undocumented refugees from neighboring Turkey shows no sign of abating.
Locals are demanding that the state step in to provide more support and solve the problems on the island. Inhabitants of Moria and the nearby village of Panagioudas plan to stage a demonstration about their grievances in the island's capital, Chora, on Wednesday. "What we want is, first of all, to find a solution for the migrants, since this will also depend on stabilizing the social and economic order of Lesvos," Nikos Trakelis, the president of the Moria Council, told reporters.
'We can't accept the situation'
"The state has left both the migrants and us locals to the mercy of God, and we can't stand this situation any longer", Trakelis added. "We can't accept the situation to improve for refugees while making things worse for us locals at the same time. If you had a child, would you take them to our park where they [migrants] are sitting? They have destroyed and dismantled everything, while the fields and spaces around the area have been polluted from sewage that runs uncontrollably through the center."
Trakelis also pointed out that a recent emergency aid package received by the local municipality of 168,000 euros is to cover past damages rather than the damages from the violent clashes which have happened in the past two weeks.
According to the latest government figures released, the total number of migrants and refugees staying at reception centers and camps on the islands is close to 10,000 - with 4,378 people on Lesvos, 3,461 on Chios and 2,095 on Samos.