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

  • Woman pleads guilty in slaying of another woman outside Vancouver nightclub [Photos]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    VANCOUVER - A young woman who was charged in connection with the fatal attack of another woman outside a downtown Vancouver nightclub last year has pleaded guilty to manslaughter. During a brief appearance in Vancouver Provincial Court Wednesday, Samantha Nadine Doolan, 30, entered her plea in relation to the slaying of Lauren Lindsay McLellan, 28, near the Caprice Nightclub in the Granville entertainment district. Source
  • Video: Horrifying moment State Fair ride breaks apart, killing one and leaving seven more injured

    World News Toronto Sun
    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A swinging and spinning amusement park ride called the Fire Ball broke apart on the opening day of the Ohio State Fair on Wednesday, hurling people through the air, killing at least one and injuring seven others. Source
  • His future clouded, Sessions opens mission to El Salvador

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions is flying to El Salvador to talk about gang violence, with his future as the nation's top prosecutor still in doubt. He left Thursday after a week of blistering public scorn from President Donald Trump about Sessions' performance. Source
  • N.S. police chief facing sex charges to appear in court

    Canada News CTV News
    BRIDGEWATER, N.S. - The case of a Nova Scotia police chief facing several sex charges involving a 17-year-old girl is due in court today. A lawyer for John Collyer was in Bridgewater provincial court last month when the case was adjourned for election and plea. Source
  • Foxconn plans massive $10B plant in Wisconsin to make LCD screens

    World News CBC News
    Electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion US factory in Wisconsin that's expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history, U.S. President Donald Trump says. The announcement Wednesday came as the Trump administration, which had pledged to generate manufacturing jobs, struggled to deliver results as quickly as the president promised. Source
  • 'They ain't hurtin' nobody': N.S. man told to get rid of pet pigs

    Canada News CBC News
    Einstein and Winstin are "good boys." They like to play with their toys. They love apples and belly rubs. They used a litter box when they were little and slept in dog beds indoors. Noah Graves even bottle-fed the two Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs when they were tiny, squirming, snorting babies. Source
  • Toronto Islands set to reopen after severe spring flooding

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The waterlogged Toronto Islands will finally reopen to the public on July 31. The popular tourist destination and home to hundreds of city residents was virtually shut down in early May after flooding caused by rising water levels in Lake Ontario, brought on in part by heavy rains. Source
  • Muslim leaders tell faithful to return to Jerusalem shrine

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- Muslim leaders told the faithful to return to pray inside a major Jerusalem holy site on Thursday after Israel removed security devices it installed outside entrances to the shrine following a deadly Palestinian attack at the compound. Source
  • Charges expected after woman dies on Alaska cruise ship

    World News CTV News
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Federal authorities planned to announce charges Thursday in what was described as a domestic dispute aboard a cruise ship in U.S. waters off Alaska that led to the death of a 39-year-old Utah woman. Source
  • Inmates' escape video shows everything is caught on tape

    World News CTV News
    SANTA ANA, Calif. -- In an age when everything else is captured for public consumption on a smartphone, why not your own jailbreak? Inmates who broke out of the maximum-security wing of a Southern California jail last year did just that with a smuggled cellphone and through an attorney released it to the public Wednesday, complete with glossy voiceover from one of the convicts. Source