New refugee camp backed by 1 mln in public funds

New refugee camp backed by 1 mln in public funds

Greece is spending around 1 million euros of its own money to quickly transform a vacant lot in Elaionas, near central Athens, into an open camp for refugees who are currently living in tents in the downtown Pedion tou Areos park, Kathimerini has learned.

The land has been provided by the City of Athens and the prefabricated homes by the Attica Regional Authority and Labor Ministry, while the Public Power Corporation is covering the cost of connecting the camp to the national grid and the Athens Water and Sewage Company (EYDAP) is footing the bill for laying pipes and supplying water.

“What is happening here is experimental,” said Anthi Karangeli, an adviser to Alternate Minister for Immigration Policy Tasia Christodoulopoulou. Karangeli added that Greece only had facilities to host 4,500 migrants and refugees, whereas around 1,000 a day are arriving. The new camp, due to be ready tomorrow, will provide temporary accommodation for around 600 people.

It is estimated that more than 400 people, mostly from Afghanistan and Syria, are currently living in tents at Pedion tou Areos park. Authorities said volunteers and nongovernmental organizations have helped prepare more than 5,500 meals for them, while donations of clothes and other items have been rolling in over the last few weeks.

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