Mouzalas blames Chios local authorities, ND over migration issue

24 November 2016
625 Views

Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas blamed Chios local authorities and opposition New Democracy for mounting tensions resulting from the ongoing refugee and migrant crisis on the island of Chios and other eastern Aegean islands on Thursday.

In an interview with Skai TV, Mouzalas said Chios local authorities had backed down from a project for the creation of a new camp at a local landfill, even though the funding for the proposed plan, 3.5 million euros, had been secured.

The minister said tensions on the island were used by extreme rightists to further fuel local sentiment, resulting in locals calling for the removal of refugees and migrants from the island.

Mouzalas also alleged that New Democracy was inciting action that prevented the creation of closed detention centers on various islands for refugee and migrants who has displayed delinquent behavior.

Chios Mayor Manolis Vournous on Thursday refuted the minister’s claims, arguing that the local community had changed its stance regarding the new refugee camp due to a lack of confidence in the government.

Meanwhile, ND deputy and former Justice Minister Charalambos Athanasiou also refuted allegations of the party preventing the construction of closed detention centers on certain islands, arguing that a deal signed between the European Union and Turkey did not stipulate that refugees and migrants had to remain on the islands.

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