The head of the association representing Greece’s municipal authorities (KEDE) on Tuesday urged the government to take urgent action in regards to the refugee crisis, as the number of refugees and migrants trapped in the country swelled to nearly 61,000, according to official figures.
In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Giorgos Patoulis stressed that municipal authorities across the country have gone to great pains despite limited resources to provide assistance to the country’s growing population of migrants and refugees, adding that KEDE has conducted a study outlining steps for managing the problem.
Patoulis made special reference to the islands of the Eastern Aegean that are bearing the brunt of arrivals. “They are constantly being tested; social cohesion has been disturbed as the entrapment of the refugees and migrants has not been restricted to a specific timeframe.” He also warned that the islands are unable to provide “public health and social services, nor the security to which people who have risked their lives are entitled.”
The KEDE chief said that the islands are at further risk of “economic annihilation” as they are almost entirely dependent on tourism.