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Athens will replace the largest migrant camps with closed structures

2019-11-20T12:58:45.209Z

Athens announced on Wednesday that the three largest migrant camps on the Aegean islands of Lesbos, Samos and Chios will be closed, and their replacement by closed structures triples the capacity, which is still insufficient.



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Migrants from Moria Camp fill water bottles next to a pile of garbage on the island of Lesbos on 2 October 2019. REUTERS / Elias Marcou

Athens announced on Wednesday that the three largest migrant camps on the Aegean islands of Lesbos, Samos and Chios will be closed, and their replacement by closed structures triples the capacity, which is still insufficient.

" Decongesting the islands is the priority at this stage, " said the government's special coordinator for migration, Alkiviadis Stefanis, at a press conference. The three overcrowded camps of Lesbos , Samos and Chios, which currently shelter more than 27,000 migrants with a total capacity of 4,500, will be closed on a date that has not been specified. To replace them, closed structures of 5,000 places each will be erected on these three islands near Turkey, said Stefanis. Or 15,000 places in total.

Asylum seekers locked up

Instead of being allowed to come and go freely on the islands, asylum seekers will be locked inside the new camps, time to identify them, study their status and decide on their relocation or return. in Turkey, he added.

►To read: Hello Europe - In Greece, the Parliament examines a draft law to the right of asylum

The other two camps in Kos and Leros, whose conditions are less dramatic, will be renovated and expanded, he said. The Greek government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis has begun to transfer hundreds of asylum seekers from the Aegean islands to the mainland, with the goal of relocating 20,000 by the end of 2019. But the discontent is rising among the continent's inhabitants. . And hundreds of exiles continue to flock daily.

40,000 migrants arrived in four months

The Ministry for the Protection of Citizen announced for its part that 40,000 people had arrived in Greece in the last four months. More than 1,350 people arrived on the five Aegean islands last weekend, according to the Greek coastguard.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has accused the European Union of considering Greece and other countries of entry to Europe as " convenient car parks for refugees and migrants ".

The EU is " unaware of the problem " of the upsurge of migrants arriving in Greece, he lashed out in an interview with the German newspaper Handelsblatt . " It can not go on like this ."

More than 32,000 people currently live in miserable conditions in the five hot-spots of Lesbos, Samos, Leros, Chios and Kos (camps where their recordings are made), for a theoretical capacity of only 6,200.

(With AFP)

Source: rfi

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