It is true that something is very wrong at all in the Aegean islands and especially in Lesvos. Especially after the clashes of the inhabitants with riot police in the so-called "Karavas war" it seems that Lesvos had fallen into disfavor on the part of the competent ministries.
To be fair, the guarding of the sea borders is making remarkable progress with the Coast Guard closing the "passages" to the islands, shrinking the flows of illegal immigrants. However, the strategy of guarding the illegal immigrants in Moria is tragic and is left to the ceaseless efforts of the Police. The "heads" of the island's Police, however, do not seem to be able to respond operationally as well as their colleagues in the Coast Guard.
But what really happened on Tuesday night and we were led to this night with what tragically happened on the large island of the northern Aegean? In the previous days, due to the increase of covid cases in the Reception and Identification Center (KYT) of Moria and among the local population, it was decided to carry out additional sampling checks on the immigrants living in the center. Unusual, since tests for Covid-19 in Moria were rare.
Recent tests have finally revealed that there is a significant number of migrants who are positive for the coronavirus, resulting in quarantine being ordered within the Center. Moria is the largest immgrant center in Europe. It is divided into zones. Zones number 1 to 5 are located inside the inner fence of the center. While zones 6 to 12 are located outside the fence and occupy a large area. Access there is virtually free.
15 police officers for 13,000 immigrants
A quarantine center had been set up in zone 9 to house those who tested positive for the virus, as well as those who went for screening tests. Outside the center, in a large warehouse known as "Kava Santos" there was another quarantine center. While on the night of September 8, the fires were raging in Antissa and Vatousa, shortly after 9:00 pm and while everything was calm, those who had tested positive were placed in the quarantine area.
Suddenly, 300-400 young people from the "minor-unaccompanied" zone moved threateningly against the police officers guarding the center. While there is an impression that Moria is being guarded by dozens of police officers, the truth is different. Like every day, on Tuesday, five police officers were on duty at the center, one of them at the gate. The 3-4 police officers - according to testimonies - were attacked fiercely and in rather organized fashion by the young people with stones, sticks and crowbars.
The police officers reacted and managed to repel the young people, but the clash lasted a long time since the rioters were many and constantly increasing. At the same time, another group of immigrants walked to "Kava Santos" and tried to "release" those who were in quarantine, resulting in wild clashes there with police using chemicals and stun grenades.
Apart from the 3-4 police officers guarding this huge area housing approximately 13,000 refugees and illegal immigrants, there is always a riot police (MAT) squad. This is not a regular squad, but one of the so-called "Vlach squads". These are regular police officers, that is, who simply wear MAT uniforms, while their training is insufficient. There are other police officers who are in charge of services in the center of Moria, but are not involved in security. They perform services away from the area or are they drivers of vehicles etc.
How the arsons in Moria happened
The squad, which numbers 11 police officers, was running between the center and the "Kava Santos" warehouse and managed to confront the attackers by force. A group of the rioters, however, climbed the surrounding hills and started setting fires. Within an hour, a total of seven fires had been lit. That is, actual arson. The fires on the hills ignited very quickly, as fuel and tires were used and in addition a strong wind was blowing.
Anyone who knows the area understands that the arson in the specific places where such happened, and given the direction of the wind on that day, would lead with mathematical precision the front of the fire to the center. In other words, this is an arson plan, which was intended to burn down the center's facilities.
That's what happened. The fire descended from the hills and passed through the center, burning everything in its path: buildings, huts, tents and even medical structures. The target of the rioters was the building of the Pre-Departure Center (PROKEKA), which because it was not burned by the fire, the immigrants burned it with their own hands.
When the fire entered the fenced areas of the center, chaos prevailed. According to eyewitnesses, the rioters destroyed whatever was spared by the fire. They vandalized and looted cars. They expelled from the quarantine zone all those who had tested positive for coronavirus and looted the entire quarantine zone, stealing the property and belongings of those who lived there.
Rocks thrown at firefighters - Health hazard
What is worse is that the “liberated” migrant patients with Covid-19 mingled with the crowd. In other words, these are ambulatory health bombs, which circulate without restrictions even at this time among healthy people. This is how a caravan of people started, receiving instructions from some people who told the refugees/immigrants to leave Moria and go to Mytilene.
Two vehicles of the Fire Service rushed to control the fire and save the center, but the group of young rioters, as soon as they saw the vehicles and the firefighters, started cursing Greece and hurling rocks at them. Others set up roadblocks and lit fires, blocking fire trucks get to the fire.
Another group of rioters flanked the firefighters and started throwing rocks and sticks. If the fire fighters had managed to get there, a large part of the center's facilities would have been saved. The immigrants not only blocked the Fire Department, but also celebrated the spectacle of the destruction, cursing Greece and the Greeks with constant slogans such as "F*ck Greece". Shortly after midnight, the fire had engulfed many of the camp's zones, while it continued to burn until the next morning, when aerial assets began dropping water.
According to competent sources, there are serious indications that the episodes were planned by a foreign secret service. They cleverly cultivated the climate that only if Moria burns down, will the Greek authorities be forced to move those who are there to mainland Greece, at which point they will be one step closer to going to northwestern Europe.
The problem is that 13,000 illegal immigrants were left on the streets, including those infected with the coronavirus. The incidents, in fact, continued on Wednesday afternoon with renewed arson in tents and huts and with rock throwing war. In fact, what is happening in Lesvos is the chronicle of a multi-faceted preordained catastrophe, which will in fact serve as a precedent and perhaps as an example to follow if the migrants are eventually sent to mainland Greece.
For years, every sensible person has been sounding the alarm about what was obviously coming. Unfortunately, however, the situation was left to its fate. Few police officers to guard such a large center and mostly no strategy to solve the problem. For months now, the Regional Governor has been urging that Lesvos be declared in a state of emergency and clashed with the repeated denials of the competent minister Mitarakis, who, with his agenda, has proved to be a fatal man for the islands.
On September 9, the island was finally declared in a state of emergency for a period of four months. In other words, what happened had to happen for Mitarakis to understand what he must have done? The premeditated nature of the arson is also evidenced by the fact that despite the catastrophic fire and the serious incidents, not a single migrant was injured.
While awaiting the outcome of the investigation, authorities in Lesvos point to Turkey, which has agents in its hosting centers, mainly former jihadists, who had been recruited by MIT. They, in a socially flammable environment, do not find it difficult to trigger incidents, creating extreme situations that strain the Greek state.
This concerns not only the arsons and incidents that take down public order and terrorize the islanders, but also at the health level, since literally all control of the virus has been lost on the island. For Lesvos, the difficulties did not pass with the arsons, the clashes, and the looting. The difficulties have just begun.
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