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Chaos in accommodation of refugees in Athens

17 December 2015 / 20:12:41  GRReporter
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December is close to its end, Europe is insisting on the creation of hotspots on the Greek islands, but the Greek government has failed to complete the set up of a single such centre on the eastern Aegean islands.

Simultaneously, the long-awaited relocation of migrants from the taekwondo hall in Elliniko stopped in the middle at noon on Thursday.

The government that is confined to the management of thousands of migrants who are being brought to Athens, looking for places for temporary accommodation, continues to be...surprised, as it was in the summer, according to Alexis Tsipras who spoke before the national assembly.

The lack of any government plan forced the mayors in the country, through their body, the Central Union of Municipalities in Greece, to establish a commission to manage the refugee and migrant crisis, "because until today the government has presented no comprehensive national plan to solve the problem", as stated by Union president George Patoulis. "To the contrary, the local authority is constantly surprised by the improvised and partial government decisions taken at the last moment, reasonably causing concern in local communities. Moreover, the temporary solutions that are proposed do not even provide normal residence conditions," adds George Patoulis who defines as wrong the choice to use the former Olympic facilities in Elliniko.

"A comprehensive plan for the use of these sites should be developed, which would take into account the country’s needs to attract investment and create new jobs, and not to turn them into 'warehouses for human souls'," he adds.

George Kaminis: I am asking and they are not responding as to why they are not opening establishments for migrants.

The government's actions provoked the anger of Athens Mayor George Kaminis who wondered why the government did not provide some of the inactive military establishments to shelter migrants.

"There is no preparation in the country. Since last December I have stated that there are empty establishments that can be used for migrants and refugees. Olympic sites and parks cannot be used for this purpose," he added.

Moving migrants stopped in the middle

Following yesterday’s chaos in connection with the relocation of migrants from the taekwondo hall in Palaio Faliro, a city bus (with a capacity for 120 people) arrived there shortly before 9:30 am today and left at around 10:30 am to take them to the hockey hall in Elliniko, the operation being expected to be completed in the late afternoon.

The first ones have already arrived in Elliniko

The second bus arrived at around 11:30 am and the operation ran smoothly until 150 people were transported. From this point on, however, there were no bus runs due to which nearly 250 people remained in the taekwondo hall. Shortly after 2:30 pm, those who were in charge of the operation "threw out" the migrants who took their stuff and disappeared in an unknown direction.

To recall that the hall in Palaio Faliro should have been submitted to the Asset Development Fund as early as yesterday, because a European competition is due to start there next Saturday. Once again, however, chaos ensued. According to the sources of, not much damage was caused to the taekwondo hall, except for toilets and drinking fountains and normal damage due to the residence of nearly 2,000 people. Particular attention will be paid to the cleaning and disinfection of the site. The cost of these activities along with the removal of damage is estimated at about 20,000 euro and these operations will begin immediately after the transfer of migrants.

Teams had arrived at 09:00 am to clean and disinfect the taekwondo hall but they were unable to start their work until the last 250 migrants had left the hall.

Indicative of the reigning chaos and the lack of a plan is the reply to the Executive Director of the Asset Development Fund, George Terzakis, who arrived on the spot in Palaio Faliro and wanted to know when the hall would be vacated. According to sources, Terzakis talked with the chief of police in the hall, who told him that he had no information about the transportation of migrants.

Migrants who have come alone are not accepted

Meanwhile, journalists and photojournalists in Elliniko witnessed another incident today when a Moroccan migrant arrived there at noon, but alone, on foot, not by bus from Palaio Faliro. The policemen did not allow him to enter because they were instructed to let in only buses carrying migrants from the taekwondo hall. At the same time, they were unable to direct the Moroccan anywhere else.

When the reporters tried to explain to the migrant that he must go to Palaio Faliro and get into a bus along with other migrants, he told them that he was not allowed there either, probably due to his origins because Moroccans are considered "bad" migrants and are now transported to Corinth. As a result of all this, the man shouldered his luggage and with documents in hand set off in an unknown direction without any assistance from the state.


The policeman is not allowing the Moroccan to enter because there is no such order

Clashes in the taekwondo hall

Tags: MigrantsRefugeesCrisisGovernmentLack of plan
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