Grevena officials oppose ministry’s refugee housing plan

Grevena officials oppose ministry’s refugee housing plan

The mayor and the deputy regional governor in the town and regional unit of Grevena, northern Greece, expressed their opposition to a government plan to house refugees and migrants in hotels in the mountainous parts of the region in the coming days, as part of ongoing efforts to relieve pressure on camps on the islands.

“Despite the government's explicit assurances that no more refugees will come to the Municipality of Grevena as the competent ministry had acknowledged that our region is already carrying the heaviest weight in the region of Western Macedonia, we are eventually surprised by press reports and unofficial sources that other migrants are expected,” mayor Giorgos Dastamanis  said in an unscheduled press conference on Thursday night.

“We understand that the refugee issue is a national problem, but everyone must shoulder it, not just Grevena,” he added. “We won’t accept a single extra refugee.”

Dastamanis called on the government to to abide by its 1 percent ceiling for new arrivals and called for a fair distribution of refugees and migrants throughout Western Macedonia.

In the same spirit, the deputy regional governor of Grevena, Yiannis Yiatsios spoke of a “disproportionate and unbearable burden” placed on the region, adding that the “initial reservation” for the establishment of a refugee facility in Grevena, has turned into a “absolute disappointment.”

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