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Greece to build permanent migrant centre to replace Moria
Greece to build permanent migrant centre to replace Moria

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Greece says it will build a permanent reception centre for migrants and refugees on 
the island of Lesbos, to replace the destroyed Moria camp. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis 
said the new centre was a chance to reset policy on handling migrant arrivals.

The overcrowded camp burned down last week, leaving more than 12,000 people without 
shelter or proper sanitation. Its residents, however, say they want the chance to be resettled 
in other European Union countries.

Since Moria was destroyed, migrants and refugees have been protesting against plans to 
build another camp. Locals on Lesbos are also opposed to a permanent centre, saying that 
another camp would be too much of a burden on the small island.

Announcing his plans, the prime minister said: "What happened in Moria, which is a tragedy, 
must be seen as an opportunity.

"First of all, as an opportunity to reactivate Europe in the direction of solidarity to Greece, 
and to adopt a common immigration and asylum policy at a European Commission level.

"The second opportunity out of this tragedy is to create on Lesbos a new permanent 
reception and identification centre that will not carry the negative aspects and problems 
of Moria - which is identified, and rightly so, with the mismanagement of the refugee issue."

What is the background?
The question of how to deal with the mass arrivals of migrants, mainly to Italy and Greece, 
has divided the EU for years. Both countries have accused wealthier northern nations of 
failing to do more. Central and eastern European members of the EU are openly resistant 
to the idea of taking in a quota of migrants.

The Moria camp was initially designed to house 3,000 migrants and refugees. However, 
at the time it was destroyed more than 12,000 were housed there. People from 70 countries 
had been sheltered there, but most were from Afghanistan.

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