Plans afoot to empty Elliniko mi­grant camp

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Greek au­thor­i­ties are plan­ning to evac­u­ate thou­sands of mi­grants from the grounds of the for­mer Athens in­ter­na­tional air­port at Elliniko by the end of the month, of­fi­cials in­di­cated yes­ter­day.

Ac­cord­ing to sources, some 2,500 people who are still liv­ing in tents in a makeshift set­tle­ment at the site will be trans­ferred to other state-run fa­cil­i­ties by the end of July. The first step be­fore the evac­u­a­tion will be for au­thor­i­ties to dis­tin­guish the refugees at the site from the eco­nomic mi­grants. Only a small pro­por­tion of mi­grants at the site are from Syria, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials, with the ma­jor­ity from Afghanistan, Pak­istan and Morocco.

Thou­sands more mi­grants con­tinue to live in tents near the port of Pi­raeus de­spite the trans­fer of large num­bers to state-run fa­cil­i­ties in re­cent weeks. The camp there too is to be evac­u­ated in the com­ing weeks, of­fi­cials in­di­cated yes­ter­day.

Ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment sta­tis­tics is­sued yes­ter­day, there are a total of 57,076 mi­grants and refugees liv­ing in Greece. These in­clude 42 new ar­rivals yes­ter­day.

The in­flux of mi­grants into Greece from neigh­bor­ing Turkey has re­duced dra­mat­i­cally fol­low­ing the sign­ing of a deal be­tween the Euro­pean Union and Ankara in March to crack down on people smug­gling via the Aegean.

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