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UNHCR chief Grandi says Europe must do more for Greece and refugees

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi sent a message to Europe to do more for Greece after his visit to Kara Tepe refugees’ camp on the island of Lesvos on Wednesday.

Grandi said that Europe should do more for Greece which is part of the European Union adding that he speaks as a European citizen and not as UN High Commissioner.

“We must do more for the reception infrastructures in all the refugees and migrants reception countries. In Greece, in Italy, in Malta, in Spain but Greece is today the country mostly affected by the crisis, so my message is that we need more funds to offer solutions”.

Grandi said that it is the second time he is visiting the island of Lesvos, the first was in the period 2015-2016.

“Today the arrivals are the ones recorded in the period 2015-2016 but are certainly higher than last year. The living conditions for the people that arrive on Lesvos are very bad and mostly the number of Syrians and Afghans are rising again,” he said.

The living conditions of these people which must change immediately. We can’t have such places in Europe whatever the condition of these people they can’t live in such conditions”.

On the government’s intention to accelerate the asylum procedures, it is something we initially consider positive, Grandi noted and underlined that “we have some questions as what happens with the people during the asylum process, I do not have an answer and we must have it from the government”.

Grnadi said he was concerned about the unaccompanied minors and said the issue should be top priority.

Grandi is meeting the Greek prime minister on Thursday.

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