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Greek asylum agency employees launch strike against 'terrible conditions' at Lesbos refugee camp

March 12, 2020 at 9:30 pm

Refugees and migrants on 19 September, 2016 [Intimenews/Manolis Lagoutaris/via REUTERS]

Employees of Greece’s asylum agency are on strike due to “terrible” conditions in the country’s Moria refugee camp on Lesbos Island, Anadolu Agency reports.

Speaking exclusively to Anadolu Agency, Irini Zanni, one of the employees, said the Moria camp was in “terrible” condition and called for more “humane” treatment of the refugees and asylum seekers held there.

Zanni said that the refugees and asylum seekers were living under “unbelievable” dire conditions on the island.

“I was in Lesbos two weeks ago, I’m saying that I haven’t seen anything like this. I was there three years ago, in 2017, but its latest situation has become unbelievable,” she said.

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Zanni underlined that the camp’s capacity was very limited and that families were living “in terrible and unhygienic conditions” with some families living “close to hills and forests.”

“We want to have a chance to save these people,” Zanni added.

Noting that Athens had taken a “political” stance towards the asylum seekers, she said they have been on strike since yesterday, demanding improved “working conditions” for themselves and “humanitarian” treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.

That is why, Zanni added, they were protesting at Syntagma Square in front of the Greek Parliament.

There are approximately 25,000 asylum-seekers in Moria camp, the first stop of asylum seekers trying to escape from wars and internal turmoil in their countries.

Authorities warn that disease could spread faster in the camp due to overcrowding and unhygienic conditions.

A 40-year-old woman working in a supermarket in the town of Plomari on Lesbos tested positive for the novel coronavirus — now declared a pandemic — on Tuesday.

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