The deployment of hundreds of riot police on the islands of Lesvos and Chios was intended as a display of governmental decisiveness in building closed detention centres to house migrants and refugees, but the operation boomeranged with dramatic clashes between islanders and police receiving intense media coverage and mutual recriminations between protesting residents who charged extensive polic
After extensive clashes between officers and islanders that left 62 people injured on the eastern Aegean islands of Lesvos and Chios, the government announced on Wednesday that it is withdrawing most of the riot police units that were stationed there to counter fierce reaction to the creation of new, closed migrant camps.
European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas on Wednesday weighed in on a row between the Greek government and local authorities over plans to build pre-deportation centers on the five Aegean islands that are on the frontline of the migration/refugee crisis, calling for a greater "sense of responsibility and consensus."
The regional governor of the Northern Aegean, Kostas Moutzouris submitted a new call on Wednesday to declare a state of emergency on three islands, following two days of protest marches by asylum seekers demanding better living conditions and a quicker asylum procedure, and attacks by extremists in Lesvos.
Residents on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos on Tuesday barged into the General Secretariat for Aegean and Island policy in the capital of Mytilini to demand a response from Athens to overcrowding at the Moria refugee and migrant camp following tension the previous day at a rally by camp residents protesting substandard living conditions and asylum processing delays.
Following a day of protests on Lesvos, Chios and Samos against the mounting pressure of irregular migration on the islands, the regional governor for the Northern Aegean, Kostas Moutzouris, and the mayors of the three islands are due in Athens on Thursday to deliver a petition to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis calling for a swift resolution to the problem.