EU pledges US$88M for housing of stranded migrants in Greece

ATHENS, Greece -- The European Union pledged Monday to spend 80 million euros (US$88 million) to house migrants in Greece even as it seeks tougher procedures for asylum-seekers travelling to the continent.

See Full Article

Kristalina Georgieva, the EU Commissioner for Budget and Human resources, signed an agreement for a rent subsidy program for up to 20,000 people next year.

Thousands of stranded refugees are currently being housed in old venues from the 2004 Olympics, at camps on Greek islands, or are sleeping in tents pitched in city squares and parks in Athens.

"The 80 million euros is for the year 2016 ... after that it would be assessed. It could be expanded," Georgieva told The Associated Press. "Families could stay at an accommodation for two months, so the number involved over the year would be quite a lot higher than 20,000."

Nearly 800,000 migrants and refugees have crossed through Greece this year, hoping to travel to northern Europe. But Macedonia and other Balkan countries last month toughened their border rules, restricting crossings to those from war-torn nations like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and stranding others.

Under the Greek housing scheme, assisted by the UN refugee agency, migrants will receive hotel vouchers or checks to live in vacant apartments.

The program will significantly increase Greece's capacity to shelter migrants, which currently stands at about 10,000, according to an EU official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he or she was not authorized to talk to the media.

EU authorities have promised to overhaul the bloc's border protection agency, speed up and co-ordinate deportations and process more asylum claims in arrival countries like Greece and Italy.

Greece's left-wing government closed migrant detention centres around the country earlier this year but conceded Monday that some detention is needed to make deportation procedures work.

"Detention and return is a form of violence that saddens me," said Yiannis Mouzalas, a Greek migration minister. "But a government is obliged to abide by what is legally necessary ... if a bottleneck stays open, that bottle will smash."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • 'Your name is, ma’am?'; Accused cop killer interrupts judge while facing new charges

    World News Toronto Sun
    ORLANDO, Fla. — A day after an expletive-laced court appearance on charges he killed his pregnant ex-girlfriend, a fugitive was more subdued but still interrupted and refused to answer questions when he went before a judge Friday on five new charges filed against him in the death of an Orlando police officer. Source
  • Tim Hortons co-founder loses bid to have sex-assault suit tossed

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — A woman’s lawsuit alleging that the billionaire co-founder of Tim Hortons sexually assaulted her at his home will have to be decided at a full-blown trial, Ontario’s top court ruled Friday. Ron Joyce, 86, who has painted the woman with whom he had a one-time intimate relationship as a “pathological extortionist,” had wanted the Court of Appeal to find he had already paid his 36-year-old accuser to stop pushing the assault allegation before she sued him for $7.5 million in 2013. Source
  • New Jersey cop left out gun daughter, 8, used to kill herself

    World News Toronto Sun
    STRATFORD, N.J. — Authorities say a New Jersey police officer left his personal .357-calibre revolver loaded and unsecured on a shelf before his 8-year-old daughter fatally shot herself. The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office announced child endangerment charges Friday against Kenneth Righter, of Stratford. Source
  • Mars investigating Skittles said to be intended for cattle

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- A mysterious Skittles spill on a rural highway in Wisconsin is taking another twist, with Mars Inc. saying it doesn't know why the discarded candy might have been headed to become cattle feed. Source
  • Floating strip club owner says he was unfairly targeted

    World News Toronto Sun
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An Alaska man convicted of illegally dumping human waste into a harbour while operating a floating strip club said Friday he plans to appeal whatever sentence is imposed Friday afternoon. Hours before his sentencing following his conviction on federal charges that could land him in prison, Darren Byler claimed in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that he was targeted because of disapproval over the business he ran on the 94-foot “Wild Alaskan,” a converted…
  • Pepper spray and stun grenades: Confrontation near Trump parade route escalates [Photos] [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to fill the nation’s capital for the inauguration of Donald Trump, and while the majority of those expected in Washington on Friday will be there to celebrate, some protesters say their plan is to do their best to disrupt the day. Source
  • Group plans interactive Titanic museum for Niagara Falls

    Canada News CTV News
    An interactive museum that hopes to recreate the experience of sailing on board the Titanic may be coming to Canada. A group in Niagara Falls, Ont., has conditionally purchased land that would house the museum and is moving ahead with plans to launch an exhibit dubbed "Experience Titanic. Source
  • God Bless America, Mourning in America: Dueling social media trends on inauguration day

    World News CTV News
    As Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States of America on Friday, social media exploded with people reacting to the momentous event. “God Bless America,” “Mourning in America,” “Donald J. Source
  • God Bless America, Mourning in America: Duelling social media trends on inauguration day

    World News CTV News
    As Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States of America on Friday, social media exploded with people reacting to the momentous event. “God Bless America,” “Mourning in America,” “Donald J. Source
  • Tim Hortons billionaire co-founder loses bid to have sex-assault suit tossed

    Canada News CTV News
    GRAPHIC CONTENT warning: Some of the details in this story are disturbing. TORONTO -- A woman's lawsuit alleging that the billionaire co-founder of Tim Hortons sexually assaulted her at his home will have to be decided at a full-blown trial, Ontario's top court ruled Friday. Source