General News

Decongestion of Island Hotspots Has Started, Greek Migration Min Says

March 26, 2020

ATHENS – “So far, we have no coronavirus cases in refugee and migrant accommodation centres across the country,” Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi reassured parliament on Thursday.

Mitarachi said that new arrivals have been kept apart from existing populations, with those who entered the country after March 1 going to special facilities where they were tested. He added that movements in and out of asylum-seeker facilities have been restricted. “They are only allowed out to shop at certain hours, while people are informed in languages they understand,” the minister explained.

On the issue of decongesting refugee-migrant facilities on the islands, Mitarachi noted that more than half of their residents will leave in 2020. According to him, there are currently 42,000 residents of migrant and refugee accommodation on the islands. The capacity of the new facilities that are to replace them is for fewer than 20,000, so more than half will be leaving the islands within 2020. As for where they will go, he referred to the government’s amendment to free up 11,000 places in facilities on the mainland, which are currently occupied by persons who are not eligible for them under international treaties. By speeding up the asylum process, he added, “people are leaving existing facilities and increasing capacity.”

At the same time, Mitarachi reiterated that more facilities will be created where necessary, in cooperation with the local authorities. He also announced the completion of 10,000 transfers in the first quarter of 2020. “At the end of March, [migrants and refugees] living on the islands will be fewer than in December 2019,” he said.

The minister also referred to an initiative launched by Alternate Migration and Asylum Minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos, under which Greece has received EU approval and funding for 5,000 voluntary departures “and we plan further departures for the second quarter of 2020.”


WILMINGTON, DE – His Eminence Metropolitan Apostolos of New Jersey on February 18 celebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Wilmington, Delaware, which was filled with hundreds of GOYA members from throughout the Metropolis who were participating in the parish's GOYA Basketball Tournament Weekend.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


‘Without Us, You Don’t Eat’: Greek Farmers Ride Some 200 Tractors to Athens to Demand Financial Help (Vids)

ATHENS — Greek farmers rode Tuesday some 200 tractors to the capital, Athens, demanding financial help from the government as cost of living spiked in the Mediterranean country.

ATHENS - With Greece a hotspot tourist destination in 2023 and people traveling with the waning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s hotels had a 23 percent increase in turnover, raking in 10.

ATHENS - With a shortage of doctors, anesthesiologists, and other staff, surgeries have backed up so much in Greece that a plan for them to be done in the afternoons has been put in place.

ATHENS - In a ninth year of seeing refugees and migrants coming - first hoping to reach other European countries before borders were closed to them - Greece is dealing with an uptick in the numbers seeking asylum.

NEW YORK (AP) — Emily Hollenbeck lived with a deep, recurring depression she likened to a black hole, where gravity felt so strong and her limbs so heavy she could barely move.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.