The strike action on Lesbos follows two days of clashes between protesters and police officers brought to guard construction work on the site where the new centres will be built. The new centres will replace overcrowded camps. They will receive migrants arriving to the islands and determine their status.

Migrants from the camps are being transferred to the mainland. Islanders fear the new centres will become permanent, however, and swell in numbers like the camps. Police reinforcements that had been sent from the mainland left the island early on Thursday in an effort by the government to de-escalate tensions, police sources said. Late on Wednesday protesters attacked a military camp where the reinforcements were staying with petrol bombs and rocks.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to meet the island's regional governors in Athens later today.