Idomeni residents file lawsuit against minister over makeshif refugee camp

12 May 2016
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Six residents of the border settlement of Idomeni have filed a lawsuit against the relevant alternate minister who holds the law enforcement portfolio in the government, charging that the Greek state is failing to exercise any oversight or control over a makeshift refugee camp that has sprung up on Greece’s border with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM).

Among the six plaintiffs is the president of the local municipal council, Xanthoula Soupli, who added her name to the lawsuit against Alternate Citizens’ Protection Minister Nikos Toskas, the official name of the ministry.

The local residents charged that the refugee / migrant camp is essentially a lawless area, with damages to residents’ homes and property now reported on almost a daily basis. They also charged that the government has left thousands of third country nationals to camp out at the site without any assistance in terms of health care and basic necessities.

The makeshift camp was erected after authorities in the neighboring country stopped allowing third country nationals claiming refugee status from transiting their country for preferred destinations in central and northern Europe. Along with the Mideast war refugees (mostly Syrians, but also Iraqis) the Skopje government said it would not allow Third World migrants who illegally entered Greece from Turkey, amid the unprecedented refugee crisis, to enter without visas.

One ongoing protest against the neighboring country’s decision has kept a main north-south rail line linking Greece with the rest of Europe closed for nearly two months, as groups of refugees / migrants have camped directly on the railroad tracks.

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