The Migration and Asylum Ministry announced the start of the operation on June 1, of the eviction of both legitimate refugees and illegal immigrants from apartments included in the “ESTIA” programme, the Reception and Identification Centres, the accommodation structures of the hinterland and the receptions in hotels of the “Filoxenia” programme. The decision concerns a total of 11,237 immigrants and refugees.
As of September 1, the prepaid cards given to asylum seekers will only be good for purchasing goods and not for withdrawing cash.
According to the announcement of the Ministry, “this will ensure thousands of accommodation spots to become available in existing centres of mainland Greece for asylum seekers, in order to make possible the immediate decongestion of the islands”.
The procedure will be supervised by the Reception and Identification Service, while the Asylum Directorate has been designated as the competent authority to “run” the program.
Participants in the teleconference meeting included the general and special secretaries of the migration and asylum ministry, the head of the International Organisation for Migration’s mission in Greece and IOM regional coordinator Gianluca Rocco, the representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Greece Philippe Leclerc, European Commission representatives as well as interior ministry and Athens municipality representatives.