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Greece to evict over 10,000 refugees from shelters

A man walks at Malakasa refugee camp after the camp has been quarantined following a man tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) in Athens, Greece on April 5, 2020 [Ayhan Mehmet - Anadolu Agency]
A man walks at Malakasa refugee camp after the camp has been quarantined following a man tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) in Athens, Greece on April 5, 2020 [Ayhan Mehmet - Anadolu Agency]

Over 10,000 refugees in Greece that have been granted asylum now face eviction from accommodation facilities where they are currently staying, Anadolu Agency reports.

The country’s Ministry of Migration Policy plans to replace these refugees with asylum seekers on Aegean islands in an attempt to decongest camps there.

These facilities are intended to accommodate asylum-seekers whose applications are still being processed.

As soon as they are granted asylum, they are obliged to leave the facilities after a grace period of one month, according to a new legal framework.

READ: UN urges EU member states to disembark rescued migrants

Cornelia Ernst, a member of the European Parliament, criticized Greece by saying the decision could leave many refugees homeless and without financial means, partly due to the suspension of public services as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Two thousand asylum seekers have had their applications refused during the lockdown, and have only been given one week to appeal while most COVID-19 measures remain in place. The deadline is this Friday,” said the German lawmaker.

She added: “Urgent action is required to change the course of the Greek government, stop the evictions and make sure the deadlines are fair!”

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