Refugees and Migrants Refuse to Leave Piraeus Port, Idomeni Camp

peiraias1Tension is rising at Piraeus Port, the Idomeni tent city and Chios where thousands of refugees and migrants refuse to move to hosting facilities in fear of deportation to Turkey.

After the relocation deal between the European Union and Turkey went in effect on Monday, migrants have started filing asylum petitions in order to avoid being sent back to Turkey. As a result, only 202 migrants have been sent back to Turkey, with the number of those stranded in Greece reaching 53,000.

On Wednesday, top Greek government officials went to Piraeus Port and tried to convince refugees to leave and move to comfortable hospitality facilities. The refugees refused to leave and staged protest acts, with one of them threatening to throw an infant in the sea. The authorities’ efforts proved fruitless as no refugee left the port. Instead, they demanded the opening of the borders.

At Idomeni, protesting refugees have blocked the railway line for the 20th day in a row, essentially stopping cargo trains to and from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. At the same time, they have blocked the national highway so that cargo trucks to and from the neighboring country cannot pass.

On Chios, migrants who were to be transferred to Turkey left the registration center and gathered at the port. Locals staged a protest at the city hall and they clashed with solidarity groups who demand that all migrants should be granted asylum. Two people were injured in the fight until police intervened. Chios residents shouted down  SYRIZA MP Andreas Michailidis and accused the government of inadequacy to handle the refugee crisis.