Greece is overcoming hot spot delays, says EU official

6 February 2016
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A European Union official says Greece is making “rapid progress” in overcoming delays in building screening centers for migrants and refugees on islands facing Turkey, after involving the armed forces in the effort.

The official, who met with Greek government officials in Athens this week, asked not to be identified as he was not authorized to speak directly to the news media.

He said Friday that armed forces involvement had improved preparations to build screening centers, or “hot spots,” on Greek islands and transit camps on the mainland.Greece is facing mounting European pressure to complete the screening centers on four islands this month, with the project already three months behind schedule.

The official said that the armed forces would provide an additional 8,000 places at two new transit camps being set up near Athens and the northern city of Thessaloniki – with 3,000 of those places available this month.

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