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Greek residents clash with police over building of new migrant detention centres

GREEK riot police and protesters clashed on the island of Lesbos and Chios yesterday as demonstrators rallied against the building of new migrant detention camps.

Protesters tried to prevent authorities from bringing machines from the mainland by stopping them from disembarking from government-charted ferries.

Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds.

On Lesbos, protesters set fire to bins and used waste trucks to block off the port area.

At least three people on Chios were hospitalised for breathing difficulties.

The government said that it will continue with plans to build the new facilities and has promised to replace existing camps where severe overcrowding has worsened in recent months.

Many island residents, as well as local authorities, argue that the migrants and asylum-seekers should be moved to the Greek mainland.

Greece is the busiest entry point for migration into the EU. Nearly 60,000 migrants and refugees arrived on Greek islands last year, almost double the number recorded in 2018.

Under a 2016 agreement backed and funded by the EU, the movement of migrants is restricted to those islands until their asylum claims are processed.

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