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Greece: Kara Tepe Migrant Facility Shuts Down

LESBOS — The temporary migrant housing site of Kara Tepe on Lesbos island, a tent city set up after Moria was burned down last year, was officially shut down on Friday.

Of the 697 migrants who were still housed at the site after the destruction of Moria hotspot in September 2020, all were transferred away between April 13 and 29. Of the remaining total, 159 were transferred to the Greek mainland and 538 to the temporary hotspot of Lesbos in the same area of Mavrovouni.

The site was returned to the municipality of Lesbos at an event attended by Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi, who said the government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis' two goals for the island were met: reducing migration flows and drastically reducing the repercussions of the crisis on local communities.

"The last12 months, the drop of migration flows to Lesbos has reached 93 percent," Mitarachi said. "Of 32,000 arrivals in the last 12 months, they dropped to 2,200 during the current 12-month cycle," he said, adding that the current number of migrants on the island total 7,200, from 22,000.

Mitarachi added the timeline of shutdown for other housing facilities on the island – the informal PIKPA facilities shut down in December 2020 – and the ESTIA housing will shut down in November 2021. The above-mentioned Mavrovouni facility will also shut down in the next few months, he said.

He added that the government is providing funding for the rehabilitation of Kara Tepe and Moria, turned over to the island. "The islands cannot continue to shoulder the burden of the migration crisis," he stressed, and relieving front-line islands is a high priority of this government.

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