Samos au­thor­i­ties lose pa­tience with mi­grant sit­u­a­tion

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Ten­sions in and around re­cep­tion cen­ters on the is­lands of the east­ern Aegean are grow­ing, as ar­rivals of mi­grants from neigh­bor­ing Turkey con­tinue, with au­thor­i­ties and res­i­dents on Samos plan­ning protests.

In a joint state­ment, the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Samos and lo­cal busi­ness groups com­plained about the con­di­tions in which mi­grants are be­ing de­tained, claim­ing that it “puts cit­i­zens’ safety and so­cial co­he­sion at risk.”

In a re­cent meet­ing gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials had pledged to in­crease the num­ber of staff at the is­land’s asy­lum unit in a bid to speed up the pro­cess­ing of claims and free up space in the over­crowded re­cep­tion cen­ter but no ad­di­tional staff have been dis­patched to the is­land yet.

In a re­lated de­vel­op­ment, Vas­silis Pa­padopou­los con­firmed his res­ig­na­tion as gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Mi­gra­tion Min­istry yes­ter­day, cit­ing his ex­as­per­a­tion with the sit­u­a­tion on the Aegean is­lands due to the in­creas­ing num­bers of refugee and mi­grant ar­rivals from Turkey as well as hu­man­i­tar­ian con­cerns re­lat­ing to the mi­grants. Pa­padopou­los’s res­ig­na­tion fol­lows that last month of Odysseas Voudouris, the gen­eral sec­re­tary for refugees at the In­te­rior Min­istry, who crit­i­cized Mi­gra­tion Pol­icy Min­is­ter Yian­nis Mouza­las over the lat­ter’s han­dling of the refugee cri­sis.

In the mean­time, in Ha­nia on Crete, pupils at two high schools staged sit-ins on the school grounds to ex­press their sol­i­dar­ity with the chil­dren of refugees who have started at­tend­ing Greek schools fol­low­ing ob­jec­tions by some par­ents.

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