x

Society

Greece to Change Asylum Rules to Fight Camp Overcrowding

ATHENS (AP) — Lawmakers in Greece are preparing to vote Tuesday on a proposed bill to speed up the asylum process for migrants, ease the overcrowding at Greek island refugee camps and deport more people back to Turkey.

Under the proposed changes, staff will be increased at the asylum service, the appeals process for rejected asylum applications will be shortened and travel restrictions can be imposed on asylum-seekers who are moved from the Greek islands to the mainland.

Currently, restrictions on asylum-seekers are mostly limited to five islands near the coast of Turkey, where strained refugee camps are trying to cope with up to three times more residents than planned.

A group of 13 Greek human rights organizations, however, has accused the government of ignoring refugee rights and plans a protest outside parliament before the vote later Tuesday.

The number of new migrants and refugees arriving has risen sharply this year at the islands and Greece’s land border with Turkey, prompting the change in policy.

Early Tuesday, police cleared out two abandoned factory buildings used by migrants in the western city of Patras. More than 600 people will be moved from there to camps on the Greek mainland, police said.

And outside the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, nine people were injured after police pursued a car with an alleged smuggler and 12 suspected migrants crammed into the vehicle. The car crashed during the chase, and rescuers had to use hydraulic tools to free the passengers.

RELATED

SLOVIANSK, Ukraine — The echo of artillery shells thundering in the distance mingles with the din of people gathered around Sloviansk's public water pumps, piercing the uneasy quiet that smothers the nearly deserted streets of this eastern Ukrainian city.

Top Stories

Columnists

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

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

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.

Video

Fragile Cease-Fire Between Israel, Gaza Militants Holding

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A fragile cease-fire deal to end nearly three days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza held into Monday morning — a sign the latest round of violence may have abated.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

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