City official stresses Elaionas reception center will be temporary

City official stresses Elaionas reception center will be temporary

Refugees who are currently camped out at Pedion tou Areos park in central Athens will be able to move into a temporary reception center in Elaionas at the beginning of next week, municipal officials said Wednesday.

Authorities had a breakthrough in their search for air-conditioning units to fit to the prefabricated structures that will house the refugees after a company offered to donate the systems needed. The next hurdle facing officials is the legal action being taken by local residents against the camp’s location in the empty lot.

Deputy Mayor Andreas Varelas stressed that the accommodation would only be temporary, until the government can create permanent centers that can house at least 2,500 people.

“There are many problems at the site,” he told Kathimerini. “In the summer it is exposed to the heat, while when the rain starts the area often floods. Furthermore, the City of Athens and local residents have plans to make a different use of Elaionas, which is one of the last green areas left in the city center.”

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