Greece: Highway protest over migrant health fears

THESSALONIKI, Greece – Several hundred residents from a seaside resort in central Greece briefly blocked the country’s main highway Wednesday to protest the settlement of migrant children and teenagers at a local hotel.

Police said they did not intervene and the blockade ended peacefully, lasting less than one hour.

The protest occurred some 170 kilometres (105 miles) northwest of Athens outside the town of Kamena Vourla, where a group of unaccompanied minors has been taken.

Demonstrators, joined by the town’s mayor, blocked Athens-bound traffic, expressing concern that the migrants could be infected with COVID-19.

The 36 children and teenagers were transferred this week to the mainland from the islands of Kos and Leros as part of an effort to ease overcrowding at refugee camps.

The government says migrants moved to the mainland are tested for the new coronavirus.

Earlier this month, a fire destroyed Greece’s largest refugee camp on the island of Lesbos, days after a lockdown had been imposed due to a local virus outbreak.


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