Officials from the Attica Regional Authority are due to meet with representatives of nongovernmental organizations on Thursday to discuss how to deal with dozens of migrants who have set up camp in Pedion tou Areos, Athens’s largest park.
“Pedion tou Areos cannot become a free camping site,” Deputy Regional Governor Ermioni Kyprianidou told Kathimerini, after officials found that 36 tents had been pitched in the park by Afghan migrants who had earlier been camped out at Victoria Square.
“Pedion tou Areos must be a green public space for leisure and not an area where we will hide away the city’s problems behind its foliage,” she added.
Representatives of NGOs are also due to visit the makeshift camp to assess the migrants' condition and work out what kind of assistance they need and how they can be moved on to proper housing.
“The regional authority does not have buildings that can be used for such purposes,” said Kyprianidou. “We work with the City of Athens and other municipalities, NGOs that specialize in these issues, the Church of Greece, and we try to find solutions.”
The regional council recently discussed the growing problems at Pedion tou Areos, which has largely been abandoned since undergoing a revamp a few years ago.