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.
Police in riot gear threw teargas and fired water cannon at Greek islanders as they tried to prevent access to construction sites for new migrant detention centers by setting fires, hurling flares and blockading the gates.
Locals on Lesvos and Chios are worried that the centers, which would replace temporary camps with open access, will leave the islands permanently overcrowded.
Local authorities and residents on the Aegean islands of Lesvos and Chios are preparing for a full-scale conflict to prevent the start of construction work over the next few days on new closed structures for migrants.
Protest groups said they are guarding the sites where the government intends to build the centers.
Protest groups on three eastern Greek islands on Monday began setting up blockades aimed at stopping the government from building new migrant detention centers.
The groups on Lesvos, Chios, and Samos have received broad support on the islands, including from municipal authorities and farming associations.
Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias on Thursday announced a legislative initiative to facilitate the immediate hiring of medical staff at the hospitals on the eastern Aegean islands that bear the brunt of migration influx.
Speaking on Alpha TV, Kikilias said that the hospitals needed to be supported because they were originally designed to serve the needs of the local population.