Thousands homeless as blaze guts Greece’s main migrant camp

LESBOS ISLAND (HRNW) – Thousands of asylum seekers were left homeless on Wednesday after a fire gutted Greece s largest migrant camp on Lesbos, plunging the island into crisis and provoking an outpouring of sympathy from around Europe and calls for reform of the refugee system.

The blaze, which began hours after 35 people tested positive for coronavirus at the Moria camp, sent thousands fleeing for safety into surrounding olive groves — but nobody was seriously hurt.

While European countries from Germany to Norway — along with EU chiefs — have responded with offers of help and sympathy, Greek officials have sought to blame migrants for the fire.

Stopping short of alleging arson, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the blaze was down to a “violent reaction” in the camp to virus testing, and migration minister Notis Mitarachi said asylum seekers started the fire because of quarantine measures imposed after the positive tests.

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