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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-05-05

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Mouzalas to ANA-MPA: 'Idomeni must and will be dismantled'

  • [01] Mouzalas to ANA-MPA: 'Idomeni must and will be dismantled'

    The informal refugee and migrant camp at Idomeni "must and will be dismantled," Alternate Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas told the ANA-MPA on Thursday. He promised "more concentrated" interventions toward this end but without giving any definite time-frame for when it would take place.

    "The will be more concentrated efforts for dialogue, more concentrated efforts to create new places, more concentrated efforts to control who goes into Idomeni and what they do there," he added.

    He said a meeting held in Thessaloniki with local governments, NGOs and organisations was a "working meeting that aims to end the horror of Idomeni" and one of many visits he has made in the effort to "solve the problem, both with the railway line and with the refugees."

    Mouzalas refused to be pinned down to a definite date, however, noting that the effort had begun some time ago "so that without the use of violence, we can empty Idomeni." If refugees chose to stay in Idomeni when there were alternative hospitality places available, he added, "then they must put up with the consequences of this choice."

    He denied reports that the government was threatening to not renew the residence permits of those that stayed in the camp, saying the government's offer to renew the papers of those that moved to official camps had been painted in a negative light when it was actually intended as an incentive and "a gift".

    "The papers that these people there were given, to a proportion of about 70 pct, have expired. In other words, their papers are no longer valid. We say that if they come to the camps, their papers will be automatically renewed. The difference is that we are not threatening; we are offering a prospect of legality," he clarified.

    "If the police start checking, their papers are not valid. If they go to the camps, their papers will automatically regain validity. It is a gift, not a threat. If it was a threat, we would make the police arrest anyone that left Idomeni to go to Polykastro. It is an offer, which is a different thing," he said.

    Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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