The European Union is getting ready to assist Greece in the Refugee Crisis. In the usual slow bureaucratic pace, but…. Tomorrow, Wednesday, Brussels is expected to approve an Aid package so that Greece can cope with the Humanitarian crisis. According to media, Greece asked for 450 million euro, the EU will allocate these funds from Emergency Program usually intended to deprived areas and conflict zones in Africa and the Middle East. And here starts the confusion – as usual.
“I can confirm that the commission will present the proposal to provide emergency aid within the European Union,” a spokeswoman told AFP in an email, adding that the plan would be unveiled Wednesday by Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides.
According to Wall Street Journal, Stylianides will announce an aid package of 700 million euros ($765 million) over three years, mainly to Greece. WSJ notes that “Greek officials estimated the country would need one billion euro this year, should more refugees and migrants be trapped in Greece.”
State ERT TV reported earlier today that EU Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said that the “EU package for Greece will be over 500 million euro.”
Whether the aid will be 1 euro, 1 million or 1 billion, what is also confusing is to whom the EU will give the money.
Reports in international and Greek media vary: some claim the money will be “given to UNHCR,” others “to NGOs”. The Greek government said that “it requested 450 million euros in equipment and staff for the temporary camps of refugees.” Some local media, claim that the 450 million euro will be used to “hire staff.”
But KTG reads between the lines of EU statements that the Humanitarian Aid Package will be given not only to Greece but also to other countries affected by the Refugee and Migration Crisis.
Anyway, the Greek government is reportedly seeking to establish 44 facilities (no camps!) between Athens/Piraeus and Idomeni at the borders to FYROM, so that continuous refugee flow will not pour directly to the borders. for this purpose the government seeks abandoned factories, military camps, camping premises and other large facilities to temporarily host hundreds of people.
In an interview to private STAR TV Monday night, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras indicated that the Refugee Crisis might last 2-3 months.
Fact is: FYROM allows only so many refugees through as Austria lets them to cross to Germany: 3,500 people per month. The rest remains in Serbia that sends them back to FYROM that sends them back to Greece.
According to latest information from the borders, more than 7,000 people are currently trapped on the Greek side, while more and more keep arriving from the south of Greece, many of them on foot.
PS if it wasn’t for the thousands of Greece’s volunteers, private people and local communities, the EU would have seen what a real humanitarian Crisis looks like and thus long ago.