The EU blackmail of “Schengen expulsion” apparently worked. Greece will speed up the establishment of five migrant registration centers (hot spots) and two relocation camps. After a meeting with several ministers, the Prime Minister’s office said that:
the completion of 5 “hot spot” registration centers for refugees and migrants on the Eastern Aegean islands of Samos, Lesvos, Chios, Kos and Leros will gain pace.
the Greek Army will take more active role in the establishment of the hot spots and the two relocation camps in Sindos (Thessaloniki) and Schisto (Perama/Piraeus) on the mainland. The two camps are abandoned military camps.
According to the ministerial decision, The Greek Army
• will assign provisional coordinators in the five hot spots on the islands
• supervise and assist with every means available the completion of the construction of the hot spots so that they will be ready are ready for operation within the next two weeks.
• will make available the two military camps in Sindos and Schisto. The two camps have capacity for 500 people each. the Army will increase accomodation capacity for 4,000 people in each camp.
Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas told Skai Tv on Monday, that “the each of the two camps will host 4,000 people,” that is a total of 8,000 people. The army will be assigned to guard the camps that, however, will be of “open type”.
The Minister added that the arriving people will stay in the hot spots centers for 24-48 hours where they will be separated into refugees and migrants. Then they will leave for the mainland.
He said further that until November 2015, refugees were 75%-805 of the arrvials but that the people’s influx changed in December with refugees consisting only 45%-60% of the arrivals.
“From the one million people who arrived in 2015, some 15,000 remain in Greece,” Mouzalas stressed.
The hot spots and the two relocation camps are expected to be ready to fully operate in two weeks, that is before the EU Summit on February 18th 2016.
However, it is not clear yet for how long the people will stay in the relocation camps and how the debt-ridden Greece will cover their expenses, necessary staff included. It is also unclear what will happen with the migrants, especially when Turkey insists on refusing to take them back.
The main question remains: will the EU push Greece to accept refugees and migrants to stay here forever?
The EU may have promised Greece assistance but it has not been confirmed that this assistance has already arrived. The EU is also delaying the payment of 3-billion euro ‘assistance to Turkey with the effect that refugees and migrants keep arriving in Greece despite the winter weather conditions. According to UNHCR, 58,000 arrived in Greece in January 2016. In comparison: 50,000 people arrived in July 2015.