Government opens new refugee center north of Athens

12 March 2016
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The Greek government has opened a new refugee reception center north of Athens, at a former military camp in Malakasa, and transferred on Friday 700 refugees and migrants from the capital’s Piraeus port.

The new camp, which can host an estimated 1,000 people, was opened to ease overcrowding at the port from arrivals from the Greek islands.

According to data from the government’s coordinating agency for the refugee crisis, the number of refugees and migrants trapped in Greece due to the closure of borders in the north on Saturday came to 41,464. In the last 24 hours, the agency said, 629 arrivals were recorded on the islands of the eastern Aegean – a marked drop from previous weeks when daily inflows were in the 1,000-2,000 range – bringing the total number on the islands of Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Leros, Rhodes and Kos to 7,736.

There are currently 10,035 migrants and refugees being hosted at the capital’s camps in Elliniko, Schisto and Piraeus port, the agency said, with an additional 260 at Thermopyles, 200 in Trikala, 400 in Larissa, 355 in Drama, 800 in Nea Karvali, 210 in Kavala, 413 in Kozani and 150 in Konitsa. The largest numbers are concentrated at camps near Greece’s northern border, with 1,958 in Diavata, 3,273 in Nea Kavala in Kilkis and 3,674 in Herso, also in Kilkis.

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