NEWS

Greece to get aid for migration crisis

greece-to-get-aid-for-migration-crisis

The European Commission is expected to approve some 11 million euros in aid for Greek authorities to improve their response to a burgeoning migration crisis, Kathimerini understands.

Athens is to submit a request for 21 million euros in the coming days, according to sources, with the EC set to approve half that amount. The aid is to go the Greek Police (ELAS), which is to receive 2.5 million euros, and the coast guard, which is to get 4 million, while 4.5 million euros is to go toward boosting reception facilities.

Meanwhile, ELAS and the International Organization for Migration are seeking additional funding to reactivate a scheme for the voluntary return of immigrants to their homelands. The scheme was suspended in June due to inadequate funding. Kathimerini understands that the EC is prepared to cover only 60 percent of the cost of relocating some 14,000 refugees to other EU countries as part of a broader EC scheme. On Wednesday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker unveiled plans for EU member-states to take in around 160,000 refugees from overstretched border states.

The EU’s border monitoring agency Frontex is to send border guards to Lesvos, in the eastern Aegean, in the next two weeks, Kathimerini understands, with the aim of stemming the influx of migrants.

The process of identifying migrants and refugees on Lesvos and providing them with documents has progressed. Officials have issued papers to more than 18,000 migrants this week. However, European officials are said to be concerned that most migrants are not being fingerprinted on Lesvos but instead told to report to authorities in Athens.