Moria migrants transferred to Athens construct ‘makeshift camp’ in Victoria Square

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Hundreds of migrants crowded around Victoria Square in Athens on Tuesday night after being forcibly transferred from the Moria refugee camp.

Following an announcement by the government, thousands of people who have secured refugee status must leave facilities such as Moria and the Pyli detention centre.

Migrants have subsequently turned Victoria Square into a temporary makeshift camp, unclear where to reside. Police intervened on Monday to transfer the migrants and refugees to state facilities at Elaionas and Amygdaleza, but it remained unclear if such police operations will continue. 

Aniha with her children in Victoria Square. Photo: Efsyn

The problem at Victoria was broached during an Athens City council meeting on Monday with officials underlining the need for authorities to offer food and shelter to the refugees. Nasos Iliopoulos, a leftist SYRIZA official and head of the Anoixti Poli (Open City) movement, on Monday visited the square.

“Local residents and businesses can see that the situation taking shape is reprehensible both for the homeless refugees as it is for the quality of life in their neighbourhood, which is only just starting to recover after a series of crises,” Anoixti Poli said.

Photo: Ekatherimini

The ILIOS program of the International Organization for Migration provides for the rental subsidy for recognised refugees for 6 months, but they must first have found an apartment location.

The situation in Victoria Square is a small example of what Greek streets may become, following the Minister of Immigration and Asylum, Notis Mitarakis, insisting on evicting 11,000 refugees from structures and apartments, without solutions for the next day.

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