After Moria, EU to try closed asylum camps on Greek islands

Barbed wire fences and microchipped armbands to control entry await the future residents of a forthcoming "closed camp" for refugees and migrants on the Greek island of Samos.


After Moria, EU to try closed asylum camps on Greek islands (DW, link, emphasis added):

"The site of what is to be one of the first new EU camps for displaced people is surrounded by a 6-meter (20-foot) barbed-wire fence. The heat of the day gathers in the valley, which is served so far only by a gravel road. The location of the future camp is over 5 kilometers (4 miles) from Samos, the main town on the island of the same name. When the camp is built, residents will be able to enter it through turnstiles at the gates by means of microchipped armbands. At night, the gates will remain locked.

By the end of 2020, Samos is meant to be the first Greek island to host a "closed camp." The announcement was made by the Greek migration minister, Notis Mitarachi, when he visited the island at the end of August. The European Commission has given Greece almost €130 million ($152 million) to build multipurpose reception-and-identification centers, which are meant to provide a higher standard of accommodation than previous camps had, with portable cabins, running water, separated areas and, above all, more security.

The concept of the closed camps is part of a new strategy to better fortify regions at the European Union's external borders. Overfilled camps in such regions have become a chronic problem since large numbers of displaced people began arriving in Europe from 2015 on. At the start of the year, the Greek islands near the border to Turkey were hosting more than 40,000 asylum applicants. In the town of Samos, the number of asylum applicants exceeded the number of people who lived there permanently. Almost 5,000 people are currently living in the existing camp on the island — although it was first meant to house only 650."

 

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