Two new closed controlled structures for migrants were inaugurated on the southeastern Aegean islands of Leros and Kos on Saturday, with European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas hailing “a historic day.”
“The new modern and multipurpose reception and identification centers that we inaugurated today on Leros and Kos are another tangible proof of the undivided European solidarity with Greece,” Schinas said, adding that it marks the implementation of the decision a year ago, in November 2020, when the European Commission agreed to finance the construction of new migrant centers on the frontline islands on the external borders of the European Union.
The EU has committed 276 million euros for new camps on Leros, Lesvos, Kos, Chios and Samos, which receive most of the migrant arrivals by sea from neighboring Turkey.
For his part, Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis said that a page has been turned. “Images like those experienced by the islands in the period 2015-19 belong definitively to the past,” he said.