Fire near the refugee camp on Samos

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Fire near the refugee camp on Samos


The fire in the Moria warehouse on the Greek island of Lesbos made headlines around the world. Late on Tuesday there was a fire on the next Greek island. Fortunately, the consequences are less dramatic.


The fire on Samos was quickly extinguished - here temporary accommodation on the island in February


© AFP / A. Messinis
The fire on Samos was quickly extinguished – here temporary accommodation on the island in February


On the Greek island of Samos, a fire broke out near the refugee camp there on Tuesday evening. “There is a fire on the edge of the registration center,” said the mayor of Vathy, Giorgos Stantzos, of the German press agency. The fire brigade was able to bring the fire under control after a few hours, as reported by the island’s online portal “Samos Today”. The camp was not in danger, said Stantzos. At first he had expressed concern and feared that the tents of the migrants could catch fire.

Suspected arson The media reported the first arrests: Several men had been arrested by the police on suspicion of arson. It is not yet clear who the men were and what their motives were.

According to the Greek Ministry of Migration, around 4600 migrants live in the Vathy refugee camp on Samos. However, the camp only has space for around 650 people. Two people tested positive for the corona virus in the camp on Tuesday.

The fire broke out above the camp on Tuesday evening and the wind drove it away from the camp and up the mountain. Fortunately, the surrounding fields did not give the flames much food, they said.

Just a few days ago, the Moria refugee camp on the nearby island of Lesbos was almost completely destroyed in a major fire. Around 12,000 migrants were left homeless. According to the Greek government, the fires were set there by migrants to force them to leave the camp and the island.

Is there a “Moria tactic”?

Since then, Greek politicians have warned against the “Moria tactic”, according to which fires could also be started in other refugee camps on the islands of Samos, Chios, Leros and Kos – especially if the people of Lesbos are now brought to the mainland or to Central and Northern Europe would. In view of the burned down camp, the migrants on Lesbos are demanding to be allowed to leave the island immediately. However, most of them have not yet completed their asylum applications. The Greek government insists that migrants go through the normal asylum process have to go through.

Germany takes in more refugees

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One thing is now certain: Germany is accepting additional refugees from a total of five Greek islands after the fire in Moria in 1553. These are 408 families with children who have already been recognized as vulnerable in Greece.

However, the CDU Economic Council warned against accepting refugees from Greek camps. “It must never be repeated that Germany is again becoming a center of attraction through repeated false signals and messages,” said Secretary General Wolfgang Steiger to the newspapers of the “Funke Mediengruppe”.

haz / ust (dpa, rtr, Samos Today)

Video: Chaos after fire in Moria camp – authorities are looking for 35 Covid-19-positive migrants (Euronews)

Chaos after fire in Moria camp – authorities are looking for 35 Covid-19-positive migrants

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