Plan to move refugees to Crete en­ters fi­nal straight

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Fol­low­ing months of de­lays, a gov­ern­ment plan fore­see­ing the trans­fer of thou­sands of mi­grants from over­crowded re­cep­tion cen­ters on Aegean is­lands to sub­si­dized apart­ments on Crete is said to be in the fi­nal straight.

The plan was drafted last year and had been due for im­ple­men­ta­tion in the fall but was de­layed due to red tape in­volv­ing the United Na­tions refugee agency, which is sub­si­diz­ing the scheme, but also reser­va­tions on the part of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties.

In com­ments to Kathimerini, the mayor of Rethymno, Gior­gos Mari­nakis, com­plained about the tim­ing of the scheme. “We had agreed to cer­tain things last fall,” he said. “Now we’re at the be­gin­ning of the tourist sea­son again,” he said.

How­ever, he said that Crete can “ab­sorb” mi­grants who can be em­ployed in vil­lages.

More than 62,000 mi­grants are liv­ing in cramped re­cep­tion fa­cil­i­ties on is­lands in the east­ern Aegean and the main­land.

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