Lesbos and Chios Riots

Dozens of people were injured due to intensifying clashes in the Greek Islands of Lesbos and Chios. The riots are against the government’s plans to build migrant camps on the islands.

  • The islands, Lesbos and Chios are part of which country?

The Lesbos and Chios islands are part of Greece. The Greek government has overcrowded migrant centres in Samos, Leros and Kos islands apart from these two territories. Lesbos is also called Emerald Island or the Island of Poets. The Chios Island is also called the Mastic Island.

  • Lesbos and Chios Islands are located in which sea?

The Lesbos and Chios islands are located in the Aegean Sea. They lie off the coast of Turkey and en route to Europe. The Mytilini Strait separates the Lesbos Island from Turkey while the Chios Strait separates the Chios Island from Turkey.

  • What is the reason behind the protests?

The riots are due to local protest against the government’s plans to construct new migrant centres on the islands to reduce the burden on the existing centres. The government is said to have shipped construction materials and riot control police to the islands despite local opposition during talks.

  • Where are the migrants to these islands from?

The Lesbos and the Chios Islands lie en route to Europe. Between 2015 and 2016, hundreds of thousands of migrants from Syria landed in these islands on their way to Europe. When EU signed a deal with Turkey, the arrivals declined but are rising again. There are about 42,568 migrants on these islands.

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