Greek police fire tear gas as refugees demand to leave Lesbos

Greek police have fired tear gas during a protest by refugees and migrants demanding to leave the island of Lesbos after being left homeless by a blaze at Europe’s largest refugee camp.

Under a hot sun on Saturday, the protesters on Saturday chanted “Freedom” and “No Camp” as authorities stepped up efforts to set up temporary accommodation for them on another part of Lesbos.

More than 12,000 people have been sleeping rough since Wednesday when flames swept through the notoriously overcrowded Moria camp. With Moria gutted, Saturday morning found men, women and children sleeping under improvised shelters made of reed stalks, blankets and salvaged tents.

Some protesters carried handwritten signs with messages including “We don’t want to go to a hell like Moria again” and “Can you hear us Mrs Merkel?” in an appeal to the German chancellor.

Police fired rounds of tear gas when some of the protesters attempted to march down a road leading to the island’s main town of Mytilene, which police had blocked while work on the new tent settlement continued nearby. The confrontation was short-lived.

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