Migrant camp in Greece, also praised by the EU: Wi-Fi, gyms and cafes

The building complex on the Greek island of Samos is the first EU-funded and EU-funded migrant camp in the country at a cost of € 276 million.

It was built to relocate migrants here from overcrowded and poor migrant tent camps that erupted in 2015. with the onset of the migrant crisis. At that time, thousands of people came to Greece from Syria through the Aegean Sea.

The EU’s goal is to accommodate all migrants landing off the coast of Greece in such camps, including those who may be fleeing the Taliban from Afghanistan.

In addition to the already built complex for migrants on the island of Samo, the EU is financing the construction of similar institutions elsewhere – in the Greek islands of Lesbos, Kos, Leros, Chios.

AFP / Scanpix photo / Migrant camp in Greece

The aim is to ensure better living conditions for asylum seekers, while separating them from local communities that have been protesting against migrants for many years.

In many ways, the new camp is definitely a better option than tent cities, which are often rich in the smell of rats and litter.

“This is the first of a new generation of reception centers in the Aegean islands,” said Beate Gminder, who oversees the European Commission’s migration management.

In many ways, the new camp is definitely a better option than tent cities, which are often rich in the smell of rats and litter.

The converted camp is divided into “blocks”, each with separate restaurants, gyms, playgrounds, shared kitchens and dining rooms.

Toilets, running water, air conditioning and internet are also important improvements to the new residence. The complex has a separate place for minors who came to Greece without parents or other relatives. The area is monitored around the clock by the Greek police and a private security company.

Beate Gminder: This is the first of a new generation of reception centers in the Aegean islands.

“The new closed, protected center will allow people seeking international protection, but at the same time needing protection and some restraint, to regain their lost dignity,” said Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi.

But the new more than 14 thousand. the emergence of a square-meter complex similar to a fortress does not bring joy to everyone.

“There is no doubt that there is a desire to create this huge institution completely isolated from society. Everything is designed to isolate people. It will be worse than before to put them in a prison-like camp, ”said Patrick Wieland, Samoa Island coordinator for Doctors Without Borders.

Reached a compromise

For several years, the conservative Greek government has been calling for the closure of migrant camps on the Aegean islands and the establishment of a closed center for facilities to restrict the movement of migrants.

But under pressure from EU institutions and international organizations, Greece has finally opted for a compromise to house migrants in a complex on the island of Samo.

Its residents will be able to leave the center from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. In total, asylum seekers will be able to enter and leave it on four dedicated buses.

Those who fail to return to the office by the specified time will be penalized. At best, they will not be able to leave the complex in the next few days, at worst, they will be transported to institutions, from which they will later be sent to their countries of origin.

AFP / Photo by Scanpix / Migrant Center in Greece

AFP / Photo by Scanpix / Migrant Center in Greece

Migrant rights advocates say they understand the previous camps had to be replaced, although they have doubts about the new complex for migrants.

The former migrant camp was set up on the island of Samo for about 680 people, but eventually ten times as many people lived there. Moria, the second largest migrant camp in Europe, burned down in September last year.

“The camp on the island of Samos was probably the worst in Greece. “It’s good that this page of history will be turned over,” said Mireille Girard, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Greece.

Here, however, she added that migrants were most concerned about the new institution being described as “closed”.

However, the Greek government does not want migrants to think that living conditions for those who arrive will be very good.

The Ministry of Migration said it would launch an international social campaign to explain to Afghans what living conditions can be expected if they choose to come to Greece.

Community position

The new migrant complex in Greece embodies the delicate line that the EU is trying to establish in tackling migration. First, attempts are being made to respond to requests from countries to help better protect their borders. At the same time, however, the aim is to ensure that EU funds are not diverted to controversial projects such as the construction of fences at borders or the reversal of migrants.

Greece is at the forefront of the migrant crisis. The country shares a land and water border with Turkey, which has become the first stop for people fleeing troubled countries such as Syria and possibly now Afghanistan.

In addition to EU funding for migrant infrastructure, Greece is also seeking money for new border fences and additional border patrols.

In recent days, the Greek government has applied for EU funding to continue construction of a fence along the Evra River at the Greek-Turkish border. So far, the EU has refused to pay for border fencing.

“It will be interesting to see if the Commission can refuse funding again. For Athens, this is a symbolic step, not a direct recovery of funds, which requires about 20 million. “said the Greek representatives.

Samos is a meaningful starting point for the EU’s efforts to reshape the refugee reception process.

EU action will be monitored by other countries. Lithuania, which is strengthening security measures to stop migratory flows from Belarus, has also asked the EU to fund border protection.

Greece has asked the Commission to provide EUR 15.8 million. for coastguard patrols and surveillance of maritime borders in the Aegean Sea.

To date, the Commission has rejected the request and insisted that the payments be linked to the establishment of an independent Greek supervisory authority to ensure that asylum seekers are not illegally turned around.

Who will live in the new camp?

Samos is a meaningful starting point for the EU’s efforts to reshape the refugee reception process.

The island is just over a mile off the coast of Turkey and was one of the main destinations for asylum seekers in 2015, when around 1 million people arrived in Europe, mostly from Syria. people.

Photo by Julius Kalinskas / 15min / Everyday life of migrants at Rūdninkai landfill

Photo by Julius Kalinskas / 15min / Everyday life of migrants at Rūdninkai landfill

But so far, the huge camp to accommodate 3,000 people will be largely empty. Most asylum seekers left the island as early as this summer. Part of the departure was due to the fact that their asylum application was being examined. Others left for fear of being housed in a “closed camp.”

However, about 500 people left will be moved to the new facility. The previous camp will be closed by the end of the month and handed over to the local municipality.

“We are ready for any additional burden that may occur due to Afghanistan, but Europe must find a common response to the crisis,” the migration minister said.

Despite the remote location of the new camp, locals have been protesting for several months against the newly built complex, demanding that all migrants leave the island.

Source: 15min.lt – suprasti akimirksniu | RSS by www.15min.lt.

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