New pre-departure centers for migrants to be on islands

New pre-departure centers for migrants to be on islands

Five closed pre-departure centers for migrants are expected to open on the Aegean islands of Samos, Chios, Lesvos, Kos and Leros, with details to be announced by government spokesman Stelios Petsas on Wednesday. 

The centers are to host no more than 5,000 people each and are expected to replace the open camps such as Moria and Vathy. 

The government is seeking to manage a recent surge in migrant flows through a mix of measures, including tighter border controls and speeding up asylum procedures and returns.

It aims to transfer 20,000 people from the islands to the mainland by the end of the year. Kathimerini understands that part of Greece’s budgetary surplus will be given to regional municipalities hosting migrants. 

Meanwhile, at the Southeast Europe & East Med conference in Washington on Tuesday, Alternate Minister for Migration George Koumoutsakos accused Turkey of exploiting the migration crisis to pursue its “geostrategic goals.” 

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