News World Greece speeds up creation of migrant holding centres

Greece speeds up creation of migrant holding centres

Greece plans to accelerate the creation of detention centres on its outlying islands in the Aegean Sea after a backlash against overcrowded camps by some migrants and nearby residents.

Authorities said on Monday they would proceed with the purchase of land on the islands of Lesbos, Chios and Samos, and press ahead with plans to create holding facilities on state-owned land on Kos and Leros.

Thousands of migrants are waiting on the islands for their asylum applications to be processed, most of them in overcrowded camps known as reception centres.

Migrants on Lesbos protested last week against poor living conditions and residents of the island took to the streets demanding the reception facilities close.

“The government has decided to close today’s anarchic facilities and create controlled, closed facilities,” government spokesman Stelios Petsas said in a statement.

Hundreds of thousands of people crossed into Europe from Turkey via Greece in 2015 and 2016 before a deal brokered by the European Union limited the flow. There has been a resurgence in arrivals since around September 2019.

Last year, more than 74,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Greece, according to the United Nations refugees agency UNHCR. Most of them arrived on Lesbos, Chios and Samos after crossing from Turkey and about 40,000 are now in effect trapped on the islands.

Aid groups have described living conditions in some of the island camps as appalling.

“We need 20,000 people to be transferred from the islands to the mainland in the next weeks and months to come,” Philippe Leclerc, UNCHR’s head in Greece, told journalists after a meeting with Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi.

Greece’s conservative New Democracy government, elected last July, has taken a tougher stance towards migration than Syriza, the leftist party that led the previous government.

The government has introduced new regulations which it says will simplify the asylum process and launched a tender for a floating fence in the Aegean which it hopes will deter migrants arriving from Turkey on rafts.

The new detention centres would house new arrivals until their asylum processes were underway, as well as others showing “delinquent behaviour” or not entitled to asylum, Petsas said.

Entering and leaving the facilities would be strictly regulated and they would be closed at night, he added.

(Reuters)

Read more:

https://in-cyprus.com/rioting-migrants-torch-cars-injure-policeman-at-maltese-holding-centre/

 

Top Stories

Largest supermoon of 2020 rises on a world battling Covid-19 (photos)

The largest, brightest supermoon of 2020 rose in the night sky on Tuesday over hushed cities, stilled factories and countries in lockdown due to...

UK PM Johnson is stable, still in intensive care – Downing Street

British Prime Minister Boris Johnsons condition is stable and he remains in intensive care for close monitoring, a spokesman for his office said on...

Paphos: 5 booked at swimming pool, another 5 playing football

Five foreign nationals were booked by police on Tuesday afternoon at the swimming pool of a Paphos apartment complex. None were swimming, but all were...

Trump accuses U.S. Health Department watchdog of ‘fake dossier’ on coronavirus

President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused the U.S. Health Department's inspector general of having produced a "fake dossier" on American hospitals suffering shortages on...

5 tons of chloroquine imported from India for Cyprus, Israel

Five tons of API Chloroquine have been imported from India for Cyprus and Israel as part of a joint initiative by the two countries...

Taste

Stuffed vine leaves without meat

(Dolmadakia gialantzi) Rinse the leaves and boil in salted water for approximately 10 minutes until soft. Drain and place in some cold water with ice...

Snails with tomato sauce

When the snails are ready, drain them. Fry the onions in the oil and once slightly brown, add the tomatoes. Stir until cooked well...

Sea bream with capers

Clean the sea bream well, add salt and pepper to them and brush them with olive oil. Mix the capers and parsley together as...

Halloumi bread

Sift the flour with the salt into a bowl and mix in the yeast and lemon rind. Make a well in the centre of...