Sunday October 24, 2021

Greece moves asylum seekers to camp derided as ‘prison’

September 21, 2021

SAMOS, Greece: Greece on Monday moved asylum seekers to the first of new EU-funded "closed" facilities on its islands, built to replace chaotic and crime-ridden informal camps but raising hackles of activists who say that controls on access make them into prisons.

Two rows of barbed-wire fence surround the new Zervou camp on the Aegean island of Samos, designed to house 3,000 people and which also has surveillance cameras, X-ray scanners and magnetic doors.

The new facility opens just over a year after fire destroyed the notoriously overcrowded Moria camp on Lesbos, then Europe’s biggest migrant settlement. The blaze sparked a chaotic exodus of more than 12,000 people, drawing global attention to Athens’ struggle to cope with the massive wave of migrants fleeing war and hunger, as well as the tensions this created on islands that are a major jumping-off point for those seeking refuge in Europe.