The situation in the Greek refugee camps has deteriorated further, according to Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU). After the destruction of the Moria camp on the island of Lesbos by fire, there has been no improvement, Müller told the “Passauer Neue Presse” (Saturday edition). “Everyone assumed that the terrible conditions would improve after the fire, but the reality is unfortunately different.”
“The new Kara Tepe camp is obviously no better – on the contrary, Doctors Without Borders has now had to start a tetanus vaccination campaign because babies in wet tents are being bitten by rats,” Müller explained. “These are appalling conditions – in the middle of Europe.” The toughest weeks of winter are still ahead for refugees, he said.It’s especially bad for children born in refugee camps, he said. “I’ve talked to African women raped on the run, sitting on the bare ground waiting for their children to be born. Without hygiene or medical care,” Müller reported from a visit to Moria in 2018. “This is not how life should begin.”
The CSU politician called for more engagement in the refugees’ countries of origin. “We don’t solve the refugee problems in the camps or here in Germany, but only on the ground in the developing countries.” He said it was right to better protect the EU’s external borders, but investment was also needed in the countries of origin. “Only if their prospects at home improve will refugees no longer take the dangerous path to Europe,” Müller said.
In September, the largest refugee camp to date, Moria on Lesbos, had burned down. As a result, a temporary tent camp was set up on the former military training area Kara Tepe. Currently, 7300 people are accommodated there. In total, more than 17,000 people live in refugee camps on the Greek islands.
by Xavier Cuesta – European Correspondent