13 Απρίλιος, 2016

“The society did what it could do. From now on, ministers must make decisions on the refugee issue”

To Potami

The residents of Chios, right from the start, have been very responsible towards the flows of migrants and refugees. Yet, they have to face the lack of governance and this makes them feel very cautious. The government must make clear, towards the residents of the islands and Greeks, whether it has a plan on migration and refugees. The government needs to make clear what will happen with these people, they need to make clear how much longer they will stay on the islands, when the problems will be dealt with.

“The government must make clear, towards the residents of the islands and Greeks, whether it has a plan on migration and refugees,” pointed out Stavros Theodorakis, in a visit to the hotspot of Chios island. The leader of To Potami urged the government to make clear how it will treat the migrants, adding that “the society of Chios island has already done what it could do. From now on, ministers are supposed to make their decisions”.

During his visit on the island, leader of To Potami Stavros Theodorakis had consecutive meetings with local officials. Mr Theodorakis visited the camp in Souda, Chios, functioning under the auspices of the Municipality and Amnesty International. The camp hosts 700 refugees. He had talks there with representatives of the Amnesty International and Doctors without Borders, helping in the camp, as well as with refugees who have resorted in the island.

In his statements, Stavros Theodorakis pointed out the huge problems in the function of the hotspot, stressing that “there is only one person interviewing 1000 refugees,” seeking asylum, while “there are very many problems for refugees and migrants living in containers. They don’t have hot water; they cannot afford a bottle of milk”.

Once again, Stavros Theodorakis urged the government to give answers about the construction of the hot spot in Chios, an issue that the leader of To Potami has already raised in the Hellenic Parliament. As he said, “I am here for one more reason. We are currently witnessing a scandal. According to the ministers of the government, this project has cost some 1.270.000 euros, while it is known that the Municipality of Chios, the soldiers serving their term οn the island and HELPE have undertaken a big part of this project. We are urging the government, once again, to reveal how this money was spent. This is a huge amount of money and the infrastructure in question does not justify the extravagant expenses”.

Stavros Theodorakis also said:

“The residents of Chios, right from the start, have been very responsible towards the flows of migrants and refugees. Yet, they have to face the lack of governance and this makes them feel very cautious. The government must make clear, towards the residents of the islands and Greeks, whether it has a plan on migration and refugees. The government needs to make clear what will happen with these people, they need to make clear how much longer they will stay on the islands, when the problems will be dealt with”.

There are only a few people here, who can process the asylum requests. There is only one person interviewing 1000 refugees. There are very many problems for refugees and migrants living in containers. They don’t have hot water; they don’t have access to stores, so that they can buy one of bottle of milk for their children, or whatever else they might need. We need to figure these things out. The society of Chios island has already done what it could do. From now on, ministers are supposed to make their decisions

Journalist: In accordance with the law, asylum seekers have the right to submit their request and get an answer within 25 days, so that they may go wherever they want.

All we say is that it is a disgrace currently having one person elaborating asylum requests of 1.000 people. In any case, we have to reinforce this service. We need to comply with the law. The asylum request must be elaborated within the anticipated time period. If the request is not elaborated, then the asylum seeker must be set free, with the responsibility of the Greek state, until the request is processed and the final decision is made. When it comes to refugees, there are families, people who have submitted their asylum requests, days ago, yet their requests have not been examined yet. These people have small, everyday needs, which cannot be satisfied. They do have food, but they need more milk, for example. They need extra stuff. I think that there must have been more coordination in an infrastructure like this one, with over 1.000 people. There must have been a service, a team, taking care of all these extra needs, given that our European allies have undertaken all the costs.

Photo credit: Theodore Manolopoulos