x

Society

Work on Greek Migrant Camp Yet to Begin 9 Months After Fire

BRUSSELS — Almost 9 months after a fire gutted a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, work on a new reception center has still not begun despite pledges to have the facility built before next winter, Greece's migration minister confirmed Wednesday.

Greek authorities said the fires were started deliberately last September by residents who were protesting their confinement at the overcrowded Moria camp. The camp, which was built for less than 3,000 people, was jammed with 12,500 people and was locked down due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Some people were later moved to the mainland or to a temporary camp.

Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi said the tender process for choosing companies to build the new facility, foreseen to hold up to 5,000 people, is underway. He said it has taken time to get the necessary licenses and environmental permits, as well as finalize a grant for European Union funds.

He was asked whether he could guarantee that migrants would not have to spend a second winter in tents.

"In case we're still not in the new camps in Lesbos, we have contingency planning to ensure that we will never again see these pictures we've seen in the temporary camp in Mavrovouni," he responded.

The Mavrovouni camp was set up after the fire at Moria as a temporary emergency measure, and images of people trying to live in flooded, muddy tents made headlines for months. 

Mitarachi said a separate refugee camp on the Greek island of Chios is also under tender, but that three other camps in Samos, Kos and Leros are expected to be up and running by this winter.

The Moria camp mainly accommodated people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia who arrived clandestinely on Lesbos from the nearby Turkish coast. Aid agencies had long warned of dire conditions at the facility, which was built to house just over 2,750 people.

Around 10,000 migrants remain in the Greek islands. After a meeting with Mirarachi in Brussels, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said a priority must be to "make sure that we will be able to have good winter conditions for migrants."

RELATED

KARDITSA, Greece - Months after investigations were started into the issuance of false COVID-19 documents, an administrative employee and a nurse at a health center in Greece's northern city of Karditsa were fired, the Health Ministry said.

Top Stories

Church

BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.

Church

NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.

Events

STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.

Video

1 NYPD Officer Killed, 1 Severely Injured in Harlem Shooting (Vid)

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City police officer was killed and another critically wounded Friday night while answering a call about an argument between a woman and her adult son, officials said, making four officers shot in the city in as many days.

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.