A planned visit by Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas to a Reception and Identification Centre for migrants and refugees on the island of Chios was postponed at the last minute on Wednesday, with the ministry’s Secretary General Miltiadis Klapas arriving in his place.
According to Klapas, the minister was prevented from making the visit by governmental obligations. In a press conference after meeting with centre staff, Klapas said that there were no more obstacles to the installation of container huts at the centre and that these would be in place within two weeks at most. This would help improve living conditions at the camp, he added, while noting that other projects to install heating, sewage and water supply systems were underway.
He ruled out any chance of the hotspot being closed, while holding the Chios municipality responsible for delaying tactics that had resulted in the current bad conditions. He also reiterated the government’s intention to continue transferring vulnerable groups of refugees and migrants to mainland Greece and reduce the time spent by individuals on the islands, while remaining within the framework of the EU-Turkey Agreement.