Two new mi­grant re­cep­tion cen­ters to open on main­land

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

As au­thor­i­ties seek to re­duce the pres­sure on mi­grant re­cep­tion cen­ters on the Aegean is­lands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros by trans­fer­ring hun­dreds of peo­ple to the main­land, there are plans to open an­other two cen­ters in cen­tral and north­ern Greece.

Ac­cord­ing to Mi­gra­tion Min­is­ter Dim­itris Vit­sas, two new cen­ters are to open in the com­ing weeks, in Vaio­chori, near Thes­sa­loniki, and Kypse­lo­chori, close to Larissa.

Al­though the num­ber of mi­grants at re­cep­tion cen­ters on the five east­ern Aegean is­lands dropped to around 11,000 this month, from around 18,000 last sum­mer, hun­dreds are still sleep­ing in tents in the cold weather.

The cen­ters on the main­land, mean­while, are in­tended to re­spond to an in­flux from the north­ern land bor­der with Tur­key as well as trans­fers from the is­lands. Vit­sas said last week that ar­rivals over the Greek-Turk­ish land bor­der in­creased by 284 per­cent last year com­pared to a 10 per­cent spike in ar­rivals to the Aegean is­lands.

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