Activists of a right-wing group Ieros Lohos staged a rally in the northern city of Thessaloniki on Sunday to protest against the relocation of refugees from the Aegean islands to the mainland Greece.
At least 1,500 people marched through the city centre under the slogan 'for Homeland, Nation, Orthodoxy' chanting and waving Greek flags.
«We are demonstrating against the racism from the government... Еще to the Greek people. With the excuse of coronavirus, the churches were closed but the mosques are widely open,» said Georgios, the vice president of the Ieros Lohos movement.
«We were forced to stay home and thousands of employees were fired. At the same time, the Greek Government moved thousands of illegal immigrants from the islands to the mainland. We are losing our country,» he added.
A counter-protest was held simultaneously by Antifa and anarchist movements activists. A 22-year-old right-wing protester was attacked allegedly by a group of six anarchists. Paramedics deployed in the protest area transported the injured to a local hospital.
The Greek government announced it would move thousands of the most vulnerable migrants out of overcrowded island camps in April after hundreds tested positive for coronavirus, sparking fear of an uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 among the refugees.
Greece has been praised for its response to the pandemic, implementing an early national lockdown and a ban on religious and other gatherings. As of Sunday the country has reported 2,716 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 151 deaths.