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Athens Olympic Hall hosts immigrants

22 September 2015 / 16:09:11  GRReporter
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Late last night, more than 400 immigrants from Afghanistan were accommodated in the Taekwondo Olympic Stadium in the Athens suburb of Palaio Faliro. They were transported there after having spent all day at the Victoria Square electric train station. In the absence of any other shelter, the immigrants flocked down into the station to escape the torrential rain that drowned Athens on Monday. Many of them were women with young children and babies.

 

After 23:00 last night, the immigrants were shipped by public transport buses to the Olympic Hall. In it, NGOs handed them food and water. Hall service staff said the immigrants could use hot water showers in the bathrooms. Many people put their wet clothes on the staircase railings to dry.

 

The area around the Olympic Hall is being guarded by the Greek police and the media have no right of access. From early morning, however, immigrants have been seen moving back to the city centre. Mostly men have been walking out of the hall one by one or in small groups, to board the electric train in the direction of Victoria Square. Those staying back in the hall at the moment are mostly women and children. According to its staff, the premises may accommodate immigrants only for a few days since it will host athletic events in early October.

 

According to Ta Nea, earlier on Monday, another group of immigrants moved to the refugee centre in Eleonas, which opened in late August. About 70 were accommodated there from early in the morning, most of them families with children. Some of the others who could not be housed there, found refuge in corrugated metal sheds nearby, where the second-hand dealer market is held every Sunday.

Victoria Square is a gathering spot for immigrants mainly from Afghanistan. From the early hours today, the square again began to fill not only with those who returned from the Olympic Hall, but also with newly-arrived ones.

 

Due to the flocking of large numbers of immigrants at the station of the electric train connecting the northern suburb of Kifissia with Piraeus, yesterday the trains passing through Victoria station were suspended. Passengers were asked to get off at the previous station of Attiki and then bussed to Omonia station where they could board the train to Piraeus. After the immigrants were rehoused in the Olympic Stadium, train traffic along the line was restored.

Tags: Society immigrants from Afghanistan Victoria Square Olympic Hall for Taekwondo electric train refugee centre in Eleonas
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