Visit of Greek Defence Minister in Kos met with the citizens’ disapproval

Visit of Greek Defence Minister in Kos met with the citizens’ disapproval

Athens, February 4, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

After a small “adventure” in the air the helicopter of Defence Minister Panos Kammenos and his entourage finally landed, albeit not where it was scheduled to land. Locals blocked the access to the property that has been selected to be converted in to a hot spot, for the acceptance and registration of refugees.

According to information of Kostoday, while Kammenos was expected to reach the national airport Hippocrates, he eventually flew to Kos with a Helicopter of the Army type Chinook, in order to land at the said area directly. After however learning that the access to the property was blocked, they flew over it and headed to Leros. Shortly afterwards the minister and his entourage returned and landed in Messaria and inspected for about 20 minutes the under requisition property which is going to be converted into the Immigrant Welcome Center.

Residents of the area gathered at the property, while a police van and an Army vehicle blocked the road leading to the property.

Also in Linopoti groupped citizens of Kos, after being informed that the minister would go from there, which ultimately did not happen, so many of them if redirected to the property of Nikos Kantarzi, chosen hot spot.

The Minister of Defence Panos Kammenos was accompanied by alternate Defence Minister Dimitris Vitsas, the Chief of the Greek General Staff, Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, the Army Chief, General Vassilis Tellidis, the Coordinator of the Central Organ for the Management of the Migration problem, Lieutenant General Konstantinos Floros and representatives of the European Union and UNHCR.

In an interview on Tuesday, on the assistance of the Armed Forces to the creation of hot spots, Kammenos stated for the Reception Centre in Kos: “There were some who wanted it to be in the city center, but there are five proposals from the mayor, and we accept a proposal that is really satisfactory. I spoke with the mayor. It is an area of ​​40 acres owned by 50% by the Church and by 50% by two other owners. One of the two owners agreed. Before some time I learned that he who agrees will begin to disagree. Now, however, there is no time for such luxuries. We want to meet local needs. Since it has been requested by the mayor, we proceed with the requisition of this property and the creation of the camp”.

“I want to clarify something here. I understand the sensitivities of the people. But what is not allowed and ends here today – there has been a huge effort on this matter by the Ministry of Migration Policy, but lacked the necessary clerical staff and the means to solve it – to charge outside of the centers phones for 5 euros per charge; this ends here. The same goes for the black market for water at four euro; it ends here. The transportation of people who are at risk, with 80 euros the head, illegally; it ends here. This situation will not continue. Some, therefore, probably complain for losing this kind of “business”. This “business” ends; let them understand that we will take measures. We want the local population, which is indeed under pressure, to be able to work at their shops, supermarkets, taverns, but within the limits of reason and legality”.