Mitsotakis refers to infuriating conditions at Samos hotspot

2 October 2018
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Main opposition New Democracy (ND) president Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday toured a migrant/refugee “hotspot” on the eastern Aegean island of Samos, where he again sharply criticized the leftist-rightist government over its handling of the crisis.

Samos is one of a handful of Greek isles, which are located west of the Turkish mainland in the Aegean, that has borne the brunt of the refugee/migrant crisis threat that erupted since 2015.

Mitsotakis was briefed by relevant authorities over the conditions at the center. The center-right political leader said the hotspot, designed to host 700 people, today contains 3,800 asylum seekers under very difficult conditions. He also said it was “infuriating” that such poor conditions persist, when the Tsipras government has already received or is due to receive 1.6 billion euros in EU funds to manage the crisis.

Mitsotakis said the Tsipras government’s handling is plagued by ideological obsessions, ineptitude, a lack of transparency and cynicism.

People smuggling rings operating from the opposite Turkish coast began ferrying hundreds of thousands of third country nationals – Mideast war refugees but also citizens of countries ranging from North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa to Bangladesh and Myanmar – onto several Greek isles in 2015, culminating in the height of the crisis over the summer of that same year. Most of the third country nationals and would-be asylum seekers sought to reach preferred destinations in western and northern Europe, especially Germany.

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