Migration Policy Minister Dimitris Vitsas announced on Tuesday a new program to create 7,000 accommodation units on mainland Greece will begin on November 1, adding that collaboration with the UN High Commission for Refugees has produced at first stage 10,180 units, of which 5,000 are in apartment buildings.
“Unfortunately, (migrant) flows are continuing, with a focus on Samos island,” Vitsas said, citing data for October 29 for incoming migrants and outgoing ones, who are transferred to the mainland.
On Lesvos, on October 29, there were 72 incoming and 169 outgoing migrants from Moria; on Kos, 27 incoming and 17 outgoing; on Chios, 3 incoming and 13 outgoing; but on Samos, 120 incoming and only 6 outgoing migrants. “We are applying some measures, which I can’t disclose,” Vitsas said, “however, this is not a system that can go on forever, bringing migrants to the mainland and leaving them there, otherwise we will need to be creating 20,000 new accommodation units per year.”
Vitsas said that he recently paid a visit to his counterpart in Turkey to discuss ways of improving the situation.
“What is important for me is to relieve the islands, especially Moria on Lesvos and Vathy on Samos,” Vitsas added.