Greece to build new refugee camps, cut reception stays on islands


Greece, on the front line of migration into Europe, promised on Wednesday to build new reception centres for asylum seekers and refugees, and cut the maximum stay in camps on its now-overcrowded islands.

The country bore the brunt of a large influx of refugees and migrants into Europe in 2015 and 2016, many arriving via its outlying Aegean islands close to Turkey.

The flow has since ebbed significantly, though more than 90,000 migrants remain in Greece, of which about 19,000 live in filthy temporary camps, some for months or years.

Refugees make their way into Kara Tepe camp on the island of Lesvos, Greece. Photo: Reuters/Elias Marcou/File Photo.

READ MORE: Europe scrambles to address fate of homeless refugees after Greek camp fire.

Authorities will have finished the construction of better-equipped camps on the islands of Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Leros and Kos by the autumn of 2021, Migration Minister, Notis Mitarachi, said. None of the asylum seekers would be on an island for more than six months.

“In 12 months from today we should not have any of the legacy reception system we are seeing today,” Mitarachi told a news conference called to present the country’s migration strategy over the next two years.

Authorities were restructuring the asylum service to introduce remote and digital applications in order to faster process a backlog of about 87,000 asylum requests, he said.

In September, a fire razed Greece’s largest migrant camp on Lesvos, leaving about 12,000 people stranded. Most of them have now been moved to a temporary tent camp.

READ MORE: ‘A wake up call’: An Australian’s volunteering experience in Greece’s refugee camps.

The conservative New Democracy government, elected in July 2019, has taken a tougher stance towards migration than its left-wing predecessors. It has placed limits on an appeals process which previously took months or years to navigate.

Source: Reuters.




By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Latest News

Greek and Egyptian Foreign Ministers reaffirm bilateral relations

Greece's Foreign Minister, Georgios Gerapetritis met with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry in Athens on Monday.

Historic link between Battle of Crete and ANZACs a focus of Sydney commemorations

The historic link between the Battle of Crete and the ANZAC forces were a key focus of commemorations in Sydney.

Multicultural media’s vital role in public interest journalism a key message at Sydney event

Multicultural media's vital role in public interest journalism was a key message at a Sydney event by IMMA.

‘Into the Moonlit Village’ echoes of Battle of Crete and Minoan myth

The story behind ‘Into the Moonlit Village’ is as captivating as the work itself. We found out more to mark the Battle of Crete.

Generations of Pontians remember their roots at genocide commemoration in Melbourne

Melbourne's Pontian community commemorated the Greek Genocide on Sunday, May 19, as part of a series of events. Read more here.

You May Also Like

Greek Prime Minister meets with Archbishop Makarios to discuss Hellenism in Australia

Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, met with His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia on Monday at the Maximos Palace in Athens.

Death toll rises from devastating floods in Greece

The toll of casualties resulting from the effects of Storm Daniel in Thessaly continues to climb. Read more:

Stephen Fry calls for the UK to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece

Stephen Fry has called for the UK to ‘stand on the right side of history’ and return the Parthenon Marbles to Athens from the British Museum.