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Lesbos Bulletin: Update on the EU ‘hotspot’ Moria 2.0, by the Greek Council for Refugees & Oxfam, 21 October 2020

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Situation Report
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  • More than 12,000 people were left in destitution, following the fires that swept through Moria camp on 8 and 9 September. Nearly 8,000 have been moved to a new emergency camp in the area of Kara Tepe where they are living in precarious conditions with no access to running water or protection from the weather. Many residents have described condi- tions as worse than Moria and dubbed the new camp ‘Moria 2.0’. People are having to live in flimsy tents pitched too close to the sea, meaning they are battered by wind and prone to flooding. The new camp was also built on the site of a former military shooting range, which had to be swept for unexploded landmines and grenades.

  • ‘Moria 2.0’ represents another missed opportunity by Greece, the EU and EU Member States to address the underlying causes of a 5-year reception crisis experienced on the Greek islands. Amid the chaos that ensued in the aftermath of the fire in Moria, refugees and asylum seek- ers have been left with no access to medical, psychosocial and legal support. The Greek authorities have started processing asylum appli- cations again, in spite of lacking necessary guarantees. This reflects Greece’s and the EU’s political choice to speed-up the asylum process irrespective of the cost in human lives.

  • The Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) and Oxfam are deeply con- cerned that this approach is being replicated in the European Commis- sion’s proposal on a new Migration and Asylum Pact. Based on initial assessments, the Pact copies the same mistakes that defined the mas- sive failures of the current EU ‘hotspot’ approach in Greece.