Greece’s Refugee, Migrant NGO’s Face Ban Unless Registered

Αssociated Press

FILE- On this Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019 photo, an Afghan child stands next her family's belongings after disembarking from a ferry with other refugees and migrants at the port of Piraeus.(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS - As the New Democracy government speeds its plan to accelerate asylum applications, deportations and moving refugees and migrants deemed ineligible for sanctuary into detention centers, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) working with them must register or be barred from operating in the country.

As of Nov. 26, they were given 10 days to register with the Citizen Protection Ministry, said Kathimerini in a report.

The national register of Greek and foreign NGOs dealing with international protection, migration and social integration issues was the product of the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA that was ousted in July 7 snap elections.

Registering with the authorities is a “necessary precondition” to be accredited by the ministry and continue to work in the country, the agency said, as a number of NGO’s had criticized the government plans and some accused of wrongdoing in dealing with refugees and migrants in camps on islands holding more than 34,000 of them.

Several ministries have lists with NGOs. The move came after the anti-money laundering authority under Supreme Court Deputy Prosecutor Anna Zairi, started compiling registered NGOs to eventually audit them, saying it wants to probe financial transactions.