Immigration, in the light of the Moria disaster, was the dominant issue, along with developments in the eastern Mediterranean, in the prime minister's meeting with European Council President Charles Michel. At the same time, the authorities identified and arrested six Afghan migrants, allegedly perpetrators of the arson, while investigating the role played, possibly, by some NGO members.
As it was officially announced, by the Minister of Civil Protection, Michalis Chrysochoidis, the arrests were made after using the information that the police had from the first moment, that the destruction of Moria is due to an organized arson plan by groups of young people.
Five Afghans were initially arrested, including two unaccompanied 17-year-old minors (at least as stated in the register) and after a search, police located the sixth alleged perpetrator. In fact, one of the juveniles arrested had been transferred, along with other unaccompanied persons, to a accommodation facility in Pieria, where he was located by the Police.
The revelations about Moria
Information from national intelligence agency EYP, the Anti-Terrorist Bureau and Attica Security states that the special task force that went to the island almost from the first day of the arson carried out sweeping surveys with special devices, which recorded the movements of specific people, through the position given by their mobile phones.
Investigators also used revealing videos that reached the hands of the Police, as well as testimonies, which showed the perpetrators of the arson. The videos show the immigrants lighting fires in many different places with the aim of spreading them quickly, using torn cardboard boxes as torches. After gathering all the information that "sealed" the case, Security police officers proceeded to the arrests and formed a case against the young Afghans.
However, their investigation have not stopped here, as they are now examining the dimension of the incitement of the perpetrators to arson. The relevant information states, as published in major news websites, that there are very serious indications of incitement to arson. Authorities are even reportedly investigating members of the NGO who are not present on the island. The police arrived at these persons after an internet search in closed groups on Facebook, where, as reported, they found messages about the destruction of the Immigrant Reception Center.
Charles Michel on site
The arrests of the "arsonists of Moria" took place almost a week after the disaster and coincided with the visit of the President of the European Council to Greece. Charles Michel also visited Lesvos, from where he spoke of a "dramatic situation", expressing the EU solidarity with the inhabitants of the island and Greek authorities.
He also spoke of a "common European challenge", stressing that all European countries need to mobilize and reminded that by the end of the month, the Commission intends to present new, concrete proposals on migration and asylum. He finally said he was convinced (he had also visited Evros during the March events) that Europe needed to "improve border controls" and seek "more co-operation with third countries".
Earlier, Charles Michel had a meeting with the Prime Minister, who informed him about the different ways in which the challenge of immigration is manifested. In their joint statements, Kyriakos Mitsotakis pointed out that "a new policy of immigration, identification, asylum, relocation, and return is required" and spoke of a "European equation of sensitivity and legality".
New challenges, old dilemmas
The prime minister also had contacts with Angela Merkel, with whom he also discussed, in view of the extraordinary Summit, the situation in the eastern Mediterranean and immigration. According to information during the telephone communication, the intention of Germany to receive 1,553 refugees from all the Greek islands, members of families who have applied for and received asylum, was also discussed.
Athens speaks of a positive move, which, however, can not be perceived as a reward for those who enter the country illegally. On Tuesday night, however, a fire broke out in Samos, in an inaccessible area near the Immigrant Reception Center, but without threatening it, as reported by the mayor and the Fire Department.
Government sources also say that the German government's action restores to the European immigration debate the challenge of relocating refugees to alleviate the first host countries. Finally, they note that this is particularly important in view of the Commission's proposals for a common European pact on migration and asylum.
Germany, however, is divided over the decision, which Seehofer agreed to under pressure. But Europe as a whole is also divided on the issue of immigration, with the controversy now erupting between German Chancellor and EU President Merkel and Austrian Chancellor Kurtz. This difference goes beyond how the Moria disaster was handled, for which Vienna has limited its support to sending "on-the-spot aid" and refuses to accept migrants. Kurtz even responded to the relevant criticisms of Merkel, that Austria decides sovereignly on its own and that it will not follow the "German way".
Berlin and Vienna will tackle the package of proposals that, as Charles Michel said, will be presented by the Commission next week. Merkel, under the German presidency of the EU, is seeking an agreement on immigration and is proposing that asylum be granted at the EU's external borders. at centers outside the EU.
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