Greek authorities began moving refugees and migrants living in a shabby camp on the island of Samos (pictured above) to a new, $50 million facility built to house 3,000 people.
Authorities moved approximately 200 people on Monday and are set to move 200 more on Tuesday to the new facility which is located in the island’s hills.
The older camp, which is located outside the town of Vathy, was all but decaying after years of overcrowding since the peak of the refugee crisis in 2015. The camp was built to house scarcely more than 600 people but had grown to house some 7,000. Authorities will soon shut the old camp down.
Funded by the European Union, the new camp will reportedly offer improved living conditions, but some human rights groups have described it as “prison-like” while voicing concerns about its controlled nature.
Entry hours at the new remote facility will be from 8:00am to 8:00pm while access will be controlled by entry cards and fingerprints. A bus will run to and from the main town four times a day.
Since the peak of the crisis, refugees and migrants have widely sought entry into the EU via Greece. But the administration of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has cracked down on migration with increased patrols, sending a message that it does not want more asylum-seekers.
But Greece may very well see another wave of refugees in coming months. Authorities have been monitoring developments in Afghanistan, where thousands of people have fled since the Taliban regained control of the country after the United States’ withdrawal in late August.
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