Chios locals appeal to Euro-MPs over impact of dual crisis

5 April 2017
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Representatives of residents and businesses on Chios have sent members of the European Parliament a file with data outlining the impact of the refugee and economic crises on their local economy, it emerged on Tuesday, even as the government insisted on the need for a new detention center on Chios, which has seen a spike in arrivals from Turkey.

According to sources, the data sent to Euro-MPs include the fact that unemployment virtually doubled between 2012 and 2015, from 13.9 to 26 percent, with 1,414 businesses closing in the same period.

The island’s tourism sector has also been hard hit by the dual crisis, with the data sent to Brussels referring to a projected reduction of 40.36 percent in bookings at local hotels and a 35.16 percent drop in revenues this year.

A spokesman for the local association representing residents and businesses which sent the data to the MEPs told Kathimerini that a key problem has been a sharp decrease in bookings from Germany, where public opinion about Greece has soured ahead of general elections there later this year, and the revived debate about the possible need for a fourth bailout.

European Council President Donald Tusk, who is due in Athens on Wednesday, said on Tuesday that Brussels remained committed to enforcing a deal signed between Turkey and the European Union in March last year to crack down on human smuggling across the Aegean.

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