You can read 9 more articles this month
GREECE will shut down overcrowded refugee camps on islands and replace them with tight-security holding facilities, officials announced today.
The three centres on the islands of Chios, Samos and Lesbos currently house about 36,400 people under poor conditions which have been criticised by human rights groups and the Council of Europe.
Hundreds of families are sleeping in tents outside official facilities on the five islands as winter approaches, as the camps nominally have a capacity of only 4,500.
Greece’s special coordinator for migration, Alkiviadis Stefanis, a former army general, said: “Decongesting the islands is a priority at this stage.”
Instead of being allowed to move freely in and out of the camps, asylum seekers will now be locked up until they are granted refugee status and relocated to the mainland.
If rejected they will be sent back to Turkey, according to officials.
The crackdown follows a pledge by Greece’s newly formed conservative government, which came to power in July, to relocate thousands of asylum seekers to camps on the mainland by early 2020.
The government has already passed a law strengthening asylum requirements for migrants and refugees and has promised to deploy additional border patrols.
Mr Stefanis, who is also Greece’s deputy defence minister, said that new criteria would be issued for the operation of NGOs helping refugees and migrants.
He said: “Only those [NGOs] that meet the requirements will stay and continue to operate in the country,” said Stefanis.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis this week accused the EU of treating countries on the bloc’s external frontiers as convenient places to park migrants and said he “will no longer accept this.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.