Most mi­grant cen­ters to be re­placed

Three quar­ters of fa­cil­i­ties to be closed by Septem­ber, ac­cord­ing to gov’t plan

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Three quar­ters of the coun­try’s mi­grant re­cep­tion cen­ters are to close by Septem­ber, ac­cord­ing to govern­ment plans.

The sec­ond phase of a govern­ment scheme to deal with the fall­out of the refugee cri­sis, which has left some 56,000 mi­grants stranded in Greece, fore­sees the clo­sure of most fa­cil­i­ties cur­rently host­ing mi­grants and their re- place­ment with sev­eral small state fa­cil­i­ties with bet­ter con­di­tions. These fa­cil­i­ties are to be mod­eled on a cen­ter in Elaionas, near down­town Athens, where mi­grants live in pre­fab­ri­cated homes with elec­tric­ity and run­ning wa­ter.

In com­ments to Kathimerini, Mi­gra­tion Pol­icy Min­is­ter Yian­nis Mouza­las re­ferred to “an am­bi­tious plan that will be judged when it ma­te­ri­al­izes.”

Min­istry of­fi­cials have al­ready started as­sess­ing the coun­try’s 42 re­cep­tion fa­cil­i­ties. The cen­ters at Schisto in At­tica and Di­a­vata and La­gadikia in Thes­sa­loniki, are among those that will be kept open. The camps at Nea Kavala and Herso, north­ern Greece, are among those set to close.

Over the com­ing days, Mouza- las is to meet with Gior­gos Pa­toulis, who is the head of the Cen­tral Union of Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, about plan­ning for other mi­grant cen­ters across the coun­try.

Some 3,500 mi­grants liv­ing at the site of the old Athens air­port in Elliniko and more than 1,000 camp­ing at the port of Pi­raeus are to be moved to three new camps within the next 10 days.

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