Greeks Resettle Afghan Refugees

Greek authorities said on Sunday they have started resettling migrants living in tents in a park in the capital Athens, but many are wary and have moved out ahead of the operation.

Fire brigade buses have begun moving migrants, most of them from Afghanistan, to a settlement of 90 containers in the Athens district of Votanikos.

Each container can house six to eight people and has air conditioning, running water and a toilet.

The government has said the place is not a detention center and that everyone is free to come and go.

However, many migrants, wary of such promises, packed their belongings and left the park
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Arash Himati, a member of the Afghan community in Greece said: “It is so much better. The people that walk into their rooms are very pleased. There is a happy atmosphere, everything is beautiful and there are special places for little children to play or hang around, like small parks. There is enough room for about 700 people. Now we have brought here about 300 people and they are very pleased.”

Earlier this month, UNHCR spokesperson William Spindler said the number of refugees arriving in the Greek islands continues to rise, averaging 1,000 people daily. Since the beginning of the year, 77,100 people have arrived by sea to Greece. Almost 60 per cent are refugees from Syria. Others come from Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea and Somalia. Greece is now facing an unprecedented refugee emergency.

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