Gov­ern­ment strug­gles to ac­com­mo­date mi­grants

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

A gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial in­di­cated yes­ter­day that a plan to evac­u­ate a makeshift camp for mi­grants at the old Athens in­ter­na­tional airport in Elliniko by the end of July might be “wish­ful think­ing” as an al­ter­na­tive venue has yet to be found.

Con­di­tions at the site, where some 4,000 mi­grants live in tents, are de­gen­er­at­ing due to ris­ing tem­per­a­tures, ac­cord­ing to Elliniko Mayor Yian­nis Kon­stan­tatos.

Mean­while sources said that au­thor­i­ties are to cre­ate a wing at a de­ten­tion cen­ter in Amyg­daleza, north of Athens, to host more than 300 mi­grants who have joined a vol­un­tary repa­tri­a­tion pro­gram.

On Lesvos, which bore the brunt of a mi­grant in­flux for months, 35 peo­ple ar­rived yes­ter­day from Turkey. Ar­rivals have dras­ti­cally fallen since March, when the Euro­pean Union signed a deal with Ankara to re­turn mi­grants to Turkey. But hote­liers say tourism has been hit hard by the mi­grant cri­sis and are ask­ing for tax breaks and aid. Char­ter flights to the is­land were down by 65 per­cent in May.

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