Bid to move refugees stalls as many refusing to leave

Bid to move refugees stalls as many refusing to leave

A government bid to move thousands of refugees out of state facilities and subsidized accommodation to make room for new asylum seekers is stalling as only very few people have departed, Kathimerini understands.

Under a new law reducing to one month, from six, the grace period given to refugees to leave state accommodation after securing asylum and stopping their benefits, 9,000 migrants must leave the state reception system by end-June. Of these, 4,000 are living in European Union-funded apartments and the rest in subsidized hotels or camps. Another 11,000 are slated to leave in the coming months.

Non-government organizations say the refugees living in apartments funded by the EU ESTIA scheme refuse to leave as they have nowhere else to go. The United Nations refugee agency, which runs ESTIA, has asked the Migration Ministry to provide them with a “safety net” to make the transition.

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