Governmentt to decongest migrant centres by moving 2,000 people to Crete

eKathimerini — In a bid to decongest overcrowded migrant reception centres on the islands of the eastern Aegean as arrivals from neighbouring Turkey increase, some 2,000 people are to be transferred to four new centres  on Crete by the end of the summer, according to a plan presented by Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas on Thursday.

Four centres are to be set up on the island, one in each of its prefectures, where the migrants are to be accommodated in prefabricated homes, not tents, and will be provided with food, medical care and schooling for children, according to Mouzalas, who presented his proposals to regional and local authority officials.

Efforts will be made to keep migrants of different ethnic groups separate as tensions relating to ethnicity have led to many of the brawls at state-run facilities in recent weeks.

The government has pledged to improve accommodation for migrants as the pressure is growing at cramped reception centres amid an uptick in arrivals from Turkey.

On Wednesday, 169 new arrivals were registered on the islands of the eastern Aegean.

Government officials say the influx is still at manageable levels – and certainly way below the thousands of people that had been arriving daily a year ago.

The migrants the government is planning to move from the islands are those who have completed the first phase of their asylum applications.