Despite opposition from local communities, the Citizens’ Protection Ministry is intent on implementing the government’s plan to distribute asylum seekers among regional units across the country as part of the initiative to decongest overcrowded camps on the Greek islands.
“Applicants that are transferred from the islands to the mainland will be distributed in such a way that they do not exceed 1 percent of the local population in each regional unit,” said Migration Ministry Secretary Manos Logothetis.
However, despite the transfers of asylum seekers to the mainland over the last two weeks, the reception centers on the islands remain crammed.
At Moria on Lesvos, there are 15,000 people in a structure intended for no more than 2,800. The Vial shelter on Chios is currently hosting 5,000 people despite being foreseen holding a maximum of 1,000.
The center on Samos is hosting 6,200 people but has a capacity of 650. The structure on Leros hosts 2,270 although it was meant for only 860, while that on Kos, intended for 816 people, is sheltering 3,755.
According to estimates by the Civil Protection Ministry, there is space for an additional 4,000 people at hotels around the country.