Squalid Greek migrant camp chief quits: Report

12 Sep 2019 / 09:57 H.

ATHENS: The governor of a notorious migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, long criticised for overcrowding and unsanitary conditions, announced his resignation on Wednesday for personal reasons, state agency ANA said.

“I leave with my head high. I did what had to be done under difficult circumstances.... I am tired,“ Giannis Balpakakis, a retired senior army officer appointed to the Moria camp post in 2017, told the agency.

Four years after the peak of the migration crisis largely fuelled by the war in Syria, the Moria camp remains a byword for squalor and suffering.

In August, the camp designed for 3,000 people was home to almost 11,000, according to the charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

Over 600 Afghans were transferred to camps on the Greek mainland earlier this month, but dozens continued to arrive daily.

Migrants at the Moria camp have long complained of frequent brawls and sub-standard hygiene conditions.

Rights groups have denounced the response of the new conservative government elected in July. It has tightened border controls and withdrawn the right for asylum-seekers whose application is rejected to appeal the decision. — AFP

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