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Greece: Homeless migrants will be housed 'in coming days'

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Migrants sleep on the road near the Moria refugee camp on the northeastern island of Lesbos Greece Thursday Sept. 10 2020

With Moria gutted, Saturday morning found men, women and children sleeping under improvised shelters made of reed stalks, blankets and salvaged tents.

The Moria camp, long notorious for poor living conditions, had hosted more than 12,000 migrants, four times its stated capacity. Authorities have said residents protesting a lockdown imposed after a coronavirus outbreak deliberately set the blazes. In a concerning development, they identified what Mr Mitsotakis said were "dozens" of cases of COVID-19. "Also, Greek authorities should ensure that respect for human rights is at the center of its response to this fire", the rights group's Eva Cosse said in a statement.

"We need peace & freedom".

"And perhaps such a tragedy (as Moria) is needed to awaken consciences so that everybody in Europe realizes that management of the problem can not just fall upon. countries on Europe's external borders", he said during a meeting with Schinas. One scuffle with riot police broke out but was short-lived.

An EU-wide asylum system fell apart under the strain of hundreds of thousands of arrivals, with other European nations accepting only a trickle of refugees leaving thousands remaining trapped in Greek camps.

The local mayor has rejected efforts to build new temporary camps as "unrealistic" and residents have tried to stop the construction of new camps by setting up roadblocks.

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said 10 European Union countries had agreed take in unaccompanied children from Moria and that talks were ongoing with others.

Eleven police vehicles - some stopping the migrants from reaching a nearby port - and two water cannon boosted the heavy presence seen on the island since the fires late on Tuesday and Wednesday laid waste to the Moria camp.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz underlined his hard-line stance on migration in a Facebook video Saturday.

A huge blaze destroyed the overcrowded Moria facility in the early hours of Wednesday, leaving almost 13,000 migrants without shelter.

"We will give priority to families".

"We can not repeat the mistakes of the past.it's not just a concern of Greece and other states on outer (EU) borders to manage this problem", Mitsotakis said.

"The fires highlight the failure of the European Union's "hotspot approach" on (Greek) islands, which has led to the containment of thousands of people. with the aim of returning them to Turkey, from which they transited", HRW said. Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed.

Lesbos and other islands off the Turkish coast have been among the main entry points for migrants into Europe for years, peaking in 2015-16 when around a million people arrived in a seemingly endless stream of small boats.

Protesters chant slogans during a rally in support of the migrants on the island of Lesbos, in Athens, Saturday, Sep.

Refugees and migrants from the destroyed Moria camp protest after the news about the creation of a new temporary camp, on the island of Lesbos, Greece, Sept. 12, 2020.

The PM said Sunday there was no doubt "overactive" migrants trying to force the government to move them off Lesbos had started the fires in Moria. "Moria is a monstrosity", Mr Dimitris Koursoubas, a senior official responsible for migration in the northern Aegean islands, told Reuters.

Migrants arrive a temporary camp near Mytilene town.

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