World, Europe

Villagers to sue Greek minister over refugee camp

Lawsuit by six Idomeni residents claims both refugees and locals alike are being let down by state services

11.05.2016
Villagers to sue Greek minister over refugee camp A refugee woman stands next her tent as the strong wind smashes down the tents at a makeshift refugee camp in domeni town of Greece on April 26, 2016. ( Rodrigo Avellaneda - Anadolu Agency )

By Magda Panaotsopoulou

ATHENS

Six people from the Greek village of Idomeni close to the border with Macedonia have filed a suit against a government minister, accusing the state of failing to protect them from problems associated with a large refugee camp nearby.

Community spokesman Xanthoula Soupli was reported by the Athens Macedonian News Agency as saying there was a "complete absence of state control, where everyone does as they please, without being accountable to anyone”.

The complaint reportedly includes accusations of daily incidents of vandalism to houses in the village and public infrastructure, with refugees entering properties unchecked. Refugees and migrants are also said to be facing dangers to their own health, given a purported lack of help from the state services.

A list of criminal offences is included in the suit against Alternate Minister Nikos Toskas, among them a failure to avert public danger, disturbing the peace and violating measures to protect public health.

Idomeni refugee camp is among the few that have been designated to host the thousands of migrants that have fled their war stricken countries in hope of reaching Northern Europe.

According to the Refugee Crisis Management Coordination Body, a total of 54,340 identified refugees and migrants remained on Greek territory as of Wednesday, including 63 persons who arrived on the Greek islands in the last 24 hours.

Almost 30,000 of the refugees are in northern Greece; 9,440 of them are in Idomeni camp.

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