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.
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.