Plans afoot to empty Elliniko migrant camp

Plans afoot to empty Elliniko migrant camp

Greek authorities are planning to evacuate thousands of migrants from the grounds of the former Athens international airport at Elliniko by the end of the month, officials indicated Monday.

According to sources, some 2,500 people who are still living in tents in a makeshift settlement at the site will be transferred to other state-run facilities by the end of July.

The first step before the evacuation will be for authorities to distinguish the refugees at the site from the economic migrants. Only a small proportion of migrants at the site are from Syria, according to officials, with the majority from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Morocco.

Thousands more migrants continue to live in tents near the port of Piraeus despite the transfer of large numbers to state-run facilities in recent weeks. The camp there too is to be evacuated in the coming weeks, officials indicated on Monday.

According to government statistics issued on the same day, there are a total of 57,076 migrants and refugees living in Greece. These include 42 new arrivals on Monday.

The influx of migrants into Greece from neighboring Turkey has reduced dramatically following the signing of a deal between the European Union and Ankara in March to crack down on people smuggling via the Aegean.

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