Via Keep Talking Greece – The German Foreign Ministry has made it clear that it will not provide additional winter assistance to refugees on the Aegean islands. In a related question from German newspapers, the foreign ministry replied that “responsibility for accommodating and feeding refugees falls under the jurisdiction of each country.”
According to dpa, the Foreign Ministry recalled that Berlin recently funded the installation of 135 heated containers for a total of 800 people in two camps in the Thessaloniki region and that the EU has allocated up to now 1.4 billion euros to tackle the refugee crisis in Greece.
Athens has until now been wary of moving large numbers of asylum seekers to the mainland, warning that doing so goes against the EU-Turkey pact. Other EU states complain that once on the mainland, too many migrants find ways to get out of Greece and travel to wealthier states such as Germany, where there is mounting fatigue towards accepting further asylum-seekers.
But the slow pace of transfers, delayed by arduous background checks on asylum-seekers, has pushed Greek island camps to breaking point.
On the islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros where there are over 15,000 refugees and migrants, camps are filled to triple their capacity, forcing many to sleep in tents. Efforts to further expand the camps have run into strong local protests, the ministry adds. Over 3,500 persons were transferred to the mainland between October and November, the migration ministry said.
Aid groups have warned that transferring refugees to heated accommodation before temperatures drop is a matter of life and death. Three refugees died last year in their tents on Lesbos from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning caused by makeshift stoves.
Read the full article at Keep Talking Greece