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Fire broke out in migrants camp on the Greek island of Samos Fire broke out in migrants camp on the Greek island of Samos  (ANSA)

Migrants evacuated from Greek camp after riots spark blaze

Greek authorities evacuated an overcrowded migrant camp on the eastern Aegean island of Samos on Tuesday, after clashes led to large fire.

By John Carr – Athens, Greece

The migrant holding camp on the Greek island of Samos went up in flames on Monday night after Syrians and Afghans clashed over food supplies.

Several were injured and taken to hospital, but hundreds more now have nowhere to go.

The crisis in the Samos camp had been growing for weeks, as it now has to accommodate more than 5,700 migrants and refugees – ten times what it was designed for – and the number grows almost daily.

Many migrant families were forced to make their own makeshift shelters wherever they could in and around the main town of Samos, which is just a few miles from the Turkish coast and an obvious magnet for more sea-crossing migrants.

Resisting migrant arrivals

Meanwhile, in the neighboring island of Lesbos, local people threw stones at a vessel belonging to a non-governmental organization, preventing it from touching shore.

Many people blame the NGOs for encouraging illegal migration that they say harms their own local economies.

As the migrant crisis becomes more intractable for Greece, the only certain fact is that the authorities still don’t know exactly how to handle it.

15 October 2019, 17:27