NEWS

Support floods in for Arta migrants

State doctors were yesterday offering medical assistance to dozens of illegal immigrants in the central town of Arta in the wake of an appeal by local priests which has also spurred a wave of donations by citizens. The initiative follows an open letter to local newspapers by priests in Arta last week in which the clerics complained about the alleged mistreatment of migrant workers by farmers and businessmen in the area. The letter referred to «medieval working conditions» and sought to raise public awareness about «these people’s needs, illnesses and suffering.» The priests evidently provoked a reaction: A team of doctors was yesterday dispatched to the area and will be inspecting some 50 migrants daily. Authorities will also seek to secure accommodation for the migrants, Deputy Health Minister Giorgos Constantopoulos said. «There are not only health issues to deal with – their living conditions are also a concern,» the minister said. «Whether they are in our country legally or illegally, because when it comes to weakness and illness, all human beings have the same rights,» he continued. Meanwhile, donations have been flooding in from local residents and citizens from elsewhere in Greece. Local priests said they were «genuinely surprised» by the tide of good will. They said that a bank account will be set up for future donations and asked would-be benefactors to call 26810.28170 in the meantime.