Facing Backlash, Greek Government Pulls Back Migrant Detention Plans

February 18, 2020

ATHENS – Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis said he will delay seizing land on islands to build migrant detention centers to vet those deemed ineligible after hot objections from officials and residents who don’t want them.

The plans were to put them on Lesbos, Samos, Kos, Leros and Chios where camps are holding more than 50,000 people who want sanctuary in Greece after coming to islands from Turkey, where they had gone fleeing war and strife in their homelands.

The New Democracy government had said it would issue a legislative act to expropriate properties, land and sites in a bid to speed up the building of closed camps on the islands mostly affected by migration.

The council of the North Aegean Region said it would sue to stop that and the backlash grew rapidly against the plans. Speaking to public broadcaster ERT,  Mitarakis said he won’t go ahead for now until more talks with island officials.

He also said the requisitions are “nothing more than a lease of those premises” for three years, adding that the aim is to reduce the time asylum seekers remain in the camps to below six months with some waiting for asylum application reviews some two years or more.


ATHENS – Internationally acclaimed and widely translated Greek author Vassilis Vassilikos, a former MP and Ambassador of Greece to UNESCO, died on Thursday at the age of 90.

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Echoes of Asia Minor: Life, Catastrophe and Resilience Opens at Consulate in NYC

NEW YORK – Consul General of Greece in New York Dinos Konstantinou in collaboration with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America hosted the opening reception of the moving exhibition Echoes of Asia Minor: Life, Catastrophe and Resilience on November 29 at the Consulate General of Greece in New York.

NEW YORK – The Hellenic Film Society USA presents Maria by Callas, the acclaimed documentary that tells the life story of the legendary Greek-American opera singer.

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