The Ministry of Citizen Protection announced yesterday that six young people have been identified as having caused the first fire at the Moria reception center on the island of Lesbos and five of them have already been arrested.

Minister Mijalis Khrysojiidis said that “the perpetrators of the fire in Moria are in custody, five young foreigners and another one is still being sought. The police worked in a methodical way and now any unfounded scenario has been stopped”. Thus, many statements about local provocations or Islamist attacks are refuted.

And Jrisojoidis insists that both migrants and locals “have an interest in accepting our proposals and the reality of the new structure,” referring to the temporary camp installed a short distance from Moria and outside the island’s capital, Mytilini: in Kara Tepé, with tents. “I assure you that logic, legality, security, health and normality will prevail”.

The Minister of Migration Policy, Notis Mitarakis, added shortly after on Twitter that “the authors of the fire are detained, the temporary structure is ready, the tests of Covid-19 are carried out. And everyone’s safety is guaranteed”.

According to the Greek media the authors of the big fire that destroyed most of the camp (there was another one a day later) are two Afghan minors and unaccompanied 17 years old, who were evacuated on special flights hours after the fire they set with their friends to other centers in Greece. The remaining perpetrators of the fire are three 19-year-old boys and a 20-year-old boy. These five of the six (who have been identified) have been arrested almost a week after their vandalism, as finding them was the first priority of the Police Directorate of the island of Lesvos together with the anti-terrorist brigade and the Greek National Information Service. Many images of these young people were collected by cell phones and even one of them commented laughingly and proudly as “he had set fire to half of the camp”.

Little by little, the immigrants who have been on the road for days and in the nearby camps are resigning themselves to entering the new camp in order to survive better. Now there are more than 800 of the 12,000 who were outdoors and 21 of them in quarantine when they tested positive for Covid-19.

However, there are still thousands of migrants and refugees who do not want to stay on the island and consider that accepting to enter the new structure will mean more months of endless waiting. Others are afraid of testing and testing positive, since it means being taken to a special quarantine site and even more delay. And they are not convinced by the constant claims of the authorities that “without legal documents no one will leave the island”.


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