The European Commission expects Greek authorities to place correct security measures in place for a brand new migration camp on the Greek island of Lesvos deliberate in a forested space subsequent to a landfill, a Commission spokesperson advised EURACTIV.com.
The Commission granted €155 million to the Greek authorities to construct new reception centres on the Greek islands of Lesvos and Chios in March 2021.
However, the distant location of the Lesvos camp, which is because of be accomplished by the top of 2022, has sparked considerations for the protection of the migrants to be housed there.
An activist from the NGO Lesvos Solidarity, who spoke to EURACTIV on the situation of anonymity, stated the brand new camp’s location is regarding as it is going to be in a Natura Forest space and near the island’s landfill.
“This is an abuse of Natura of course, hiding the risks of destruction from accidental fires as there is no safety assessment of the camps,” the activist stated, stating that one other worrying aspect is that the brand new camp is positioned only one kilometre away from a landfill.
This can also be a matter of “human dignity,” based on the NGO consultant, who added that the placement additionally raises critical considerations for the mixing of the migrants into the local people.
In a go to to the island of Lesvos, EURACTIV’s journalists Natasha Foote and Sarantis Michalopoulos tried to get to the brand new camp, however have been pressured to surrender after a number of kilometres of inaccessible dust tracks.
Commission ‘aware’ of considerations
A spokesperson for the EU govt advised EURACTIV that it’s conscious of the considerations associated to the centre’s location.
“The Commission expects that the Greek authorities, which are responsible for the safety and environmental assessment of the new facilities, will take into consideration all necessary measures to ensure the health and safety of future residents and will continue to monitor this closely within its competence,” they stated.
The Commission says the Greek authorities selected the placement of the brand new camp after cautious consideration and the evaluation of assorted choices and in session with the local people.
“The Commission has been working closely with the Greek authorities in this process”.
The native municipal council has permitted the plan, however regional governor Costas Moutzouris nonetheless opposes it.
However, as a result of island’s proximity to Turkey, the necessity for correct first reception amenities will stay, pressured the EU spokesperson.
Contacted by EURACTIV, a supply from the Greek migration ministry stated Athens stated they’d made it clear from the start that the brand new camp could be removed from the city atmosphere.
“The new structure will have all the necessary primary health care, as well as shops, that will be able to serve asylum seekers,” the Greek ministry supply added.
Construction works have been delayed after demonstrations opposing the camp and the destruction of development equipment in February 2022. It was initially scheduled to be completed in August 2021.
The ministry supply defined there had been an “unfortunate incident with some people burning the machines”.
However, they maintained that the brand new camp could be operational by the top of the 12 months.
“We are now in the stage of research on soil remediation and clearing. By the end of 2022, the new camp will be ready,” the supply stated.
Isolation from civilisation
The Commission spokesperson acknowledged that transportation choices are usually not accessible but because the Lesvos centre has not but been established.
The EU govt defined that, throughout discussions with the Greek authorities concerning the planning and institution of the brand new centre on Lesvos, it raised the significance of the provision of enough transportation choices for residents to have the ability to journey to and from the centre.
However, they stated that, as soon as the centre turns into operational, the EU govt expects that the Greek authorities will put preparations in place much like those in Samos, which has common public transport to a close-by city.
(Sarantis Michalopoulos, Natasha Foote | EURACTIV.com)
***Video footage additionally taken by the UN Refugee Agency and Greek web site ToNisi.gr