New refugee camp backed by 1 mln in public funds

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Greece is spend­ing around 1 mil­lion eu­ros of its own money to quickly trans­form a va­cant lot in Elaionas, near cen­tral Athens, into an open camp for refugees who are cur­rently liv­ing in tents in the down­town Pe­dion tou Areos park, Kathimerini has learned.

The land has been pro­vided by the City of Athens and the pre­fab­ri­cated homes by the At­tica Re­gional Au­thor­ity and La­bor Min­istry, while the Public Power Cor­po­ra­tion is cov­er­ing the cost of con­nect­ing the camp to the na­tional grid and the Athens Wa­ter and Sewage Com­pany (EYDAP) is foot­ing the bill for lay­ing pipes and sup­ply­ing wa­ter.

“What is hap­pen­ing here is ex­per­i­men­tal,” said An­thi Karangeli, an ad­viser to Al­ter­nate Min­is­ter for Immigration Pol­icy Ta­sia Christodoulopoulou. Karangeli added that Greece only had fa­cil­i­ties to host 4,500 mi­grants and refugees, whereas around 1,000 a day are ar­riv­ing. The new camp, due to be ready to­mor­row, will pro­vide tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion for around 600 peo­ple.

It is es­ti­mated that more than 400 peo­ple, mostly from Afghanistan and Syria, are cur­rently liv­ing in tents at Pe­dion tou Areos park. Author­i­ties said vol­un­teers and non­govern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions have helped pre­pare more than 5,500 meals for them, while do­na­tions of clothes and other items have been rolling in over the last few weeks.

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