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

  • California court hears tales of shackled, starved children

    World News CTV News
    RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Two pale, malnourished girls are photographed shackled to bunk beds. Their sister, who surreptitiously snapped the photos, is heard pleading in a 911 call for someone to come and save her siblings. Source
  • Trump's immigration order sparks confusion

    World News CTV News
    EDINBURG, Texas – U.S. President Donald Trump's reversal of a policy separating migrant families at the Mexico border sparked confusion over how the new guidelines will play out and deep concern that the changes don't go far enough, allowing children to still be held in detention even if they remain with their families. Source
  • New Zealand PM gives birth to baby girl

    World News CTV News
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, right, addresses Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand on May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Nick Perry) Source
  • Defence demands preservation of Parkland school shooting evidence

    World News CTV News
    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Defence attorneys for Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz are asking a judge to order investigators to preserve most evidence in the case, except for the building where the Valentine's Day massacre took place. Source
  • North Korea summits bring sense of peace to DMZ

    World News CTV News
    PANMUNJOM, Korea, Democratic People's Republic Of - Lt. Col. Hwang Myong Jin has been a guide on the northern side of the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two Koreas for five years. He says it's gotten quieter here since the summits between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the presidents of South Korea and the United States, in perhaps the last place on earth where the Cold War still burns hot. Source
  • Young immigrants detained in Virginia detention centre allege abuse

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - Immigrant children as young as 14 housed at a juvenile detention centre in Virginia say they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells. Source
  • Ivanka Trump finally breaks silence to thank father for border action

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - Ivanka Trump, the presidential adviser who has billed herself as a "force for good" in the administration, remained silent for days as the firestorm over forced separations of migrant families consumed the White House. Source
  • Hundreds wait at Indonesia lake as search for bodies resumes

    World News CTV News
    Relatives of victims of a sunken ferry inspect the passenger name list name at the Tigaras port in Toba lake, North Sumatra, Wednesday, June, 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara) Source
  • Penn. police fatally shoot 17-year-old boy fleeing traffic stop

    World News CTV News
    PITTSBURGH - A police officer fatally shot a 17-year-old boy just seconds after he fled from a traffic stop late Tuesday in a confrontation partly captured on video from a nearby home. Investigators said Wednesday that the car stopped in the town of East Pittsburgh matched the description of a vehicle being sought in a nonfatal shooting in a town a few miles away. Source
  • CO2 shortage could leave beer drinkers flat

    World News CBC News
    ?No beer at this time of year? A British trade group says there's a shortage of carbon dioxide in northern Europe, sparking fears that drinks may lack fizz just as thirsty soccer fans fill pubs for the World Cup. Source