Greek minister, migrants face off

2017-02-06 21:23
Afghan migrants try to block the entrance to Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas, right, at the Hellenikon migrant camp, in southern Athens. (Thanassis Stavrakis, AP)

Afghan migrants try to block the entrance to Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas, right, at the Hellenikon migrant camp, in southern Athens. (Thanassis Stavrakis, AP)

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Athens - Greek Immigration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas on Monday faced off with dozens of angry migrants who barred entry to a camp in protest at poor living conditions.

The demonstration broke out at the Hellinikon camp near Athens, which houses hundreds of predominantly Afghan migrants, who had announced a hunger strike hours earlier.

Television footage showed young children perched atop the camp's iron gate as Mouzalas unsuccessfully tried to persuade dozens of protesters to let him into the facility.

"We are human. We are not animals," one of the protesters shouted at the minister.

Mouzalas was eventually allowed in after the terse stand-off with the migrants, many of them teenagers.

Around 60 000 people, including many young Syrians, Afghans and Pakistanis, have been stuck in Greece for the past year, languishing in camps after countries along the migrant route into Europe shuttered their borders.

Read more on:    afghanistan  |  greece  |  migrants
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