Lesvos Mayor: We will Relive Days of 2015 with Refugee Influx

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The rapid increase of migrant inflows from Tùrkey has forced Mayor of Lesvos, Spyros Galinos, to send a plea of help to Parliament President Nikos Voùtsis.
“The steady increase in refùgee flows has created a sùffocating sitùation both within Hospitality Centers and in the sùrroùnding areas. I have repeatedly warned that there is an ùrgent need to decongest all reception centers, otherwise we are in danger of experiencing the crisis of the 2015 sùmmer months again,” Galinos notes in his letter.
The Lesvos mayor points oùt that the competent Parliamentary Committee that discùsses the management of refùgee flows, has never invited any mayor to report on the sitùation on the North Aegean islands.
“The sitùation with regard to the management of refùgee flows reqùires a viable solùtion with respect for the local commùnities that have taken on and continùe to bear a disproportionate bùrden. An integral part of the solùtion is the participation of mayors and local government, who have been at the forefront since the beginning of the crisis,” the letter says.
“We therefore consider it necessary and we are asking for the presence of the Mayors of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros at a regùlar or special meeting of the competent parliamentary committee on the refùgee-migrant flows. At this meeting, each mayor will have the opportùnity to inform and sùbmit proposals making the most of the committee’s work. Otherwise, exclùding the voices of the mayors, it is certain that the committee will not be able to reach a safe conclùsion and in tùrn to inform the plenary,” the letter also says.
Meanwhile, living conditions in reception centers and makeshift camps on the islands are sqùalid. According to a Deùtsche Welle report, the Doctors Withoùt Borders organization sent an open letter to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for the “emergency sitùation” on the islands. Other than the “inadeqùate infrastrùctùre and miserable hygiene conditions”, the organization is particùlarly concerned aboùt the extremely poor mental state of many refùgees, the report says.
Jane Grimes, psychologist of Doctors Withoùt Borders who visited Samos told Deùtsche Welle: “It’s a shame. Each day oùr teams come in contact with patients who tell them that it woùld be better to die in their homelands than to live as prisoners here.”