Fire breaks out in the refugee camp on Greek island of Samos

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fire fighters
fire fighters

A fire broke out in the old refugee camp on the Greek island of Samos late on Sunday evening for reasons as yet unknown. According to media reports, the fire was brought under control during the night and no one was injured.

Only last Saturday, a new refugee camp with a capacity of 3,000 places, financed by the EU, was opened on the island. Around 400 migrants are currently living in the old camp and are to be transferred to the new facility this week. This process is now expected to speed up because of the fire.

Greek media speculated that the fire might have been set by islanders to push for the evacuation of the old camp. This has not yet been confirmed.

Last year, more than 7,500 migrants had been living in the old camp in Vathy under extremely bad conditions as there was only room for about 700 people.

Since then, the Greek government has had most of the asylum seekers brought to the mainland from refugee islands such as Samos, Lesbos and Chios.

The new camp is controversial and is criticized by aid organizations.

According to the Greek Migration Ministry, it offers humane living conditions, but migrants are only allowed to leave the camp during the day by appointment. Aid organizations therefore call it a prison, among other things because it was built far away from any village.

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