ATHENS — Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis has asked that the refugee and asylum-seeker camp in Athens’ Elaionas district stop operating, during a meeting with Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi and Deputy Migration and Asylum Minister Sofia Voultepsi on Wednesday, sources said.
According to the sources, Bakoyannis considers that the facility has “served its purpose” since the conditions that led the municipality to give permission for a refugee facility so close to the city centre in 2015 no longer exist. Apart from that, the mayor considers that the problems that have arisen in the management of the facility place a disproportionate burden on both its residents and those living around it.
According to Athens-Macedonian News Agency sources, Bakoyannis has warned that the municipality is not willing to renew the concession agreement for the site housing the facility, which expires at the end of this year.
The municipality has indicated its willingness to set up a transitional short-term stay facility on the site but stressed that it is no longer sustainable in its present form.
Originally designed to house 700 asylum seekers, the facility has since expanded to house more than 2,500.