(Idomeni, Greece) – Greece has begun evacuating the refugees who have been living in the temporary camp that is located in Idomeni. The camp has one of Greece’s largest concentrations of refugees who have entered into the country from the Former Republic of Macedonia using its northern border. Authorities estimate that there are just under 8500 people located at this informal camp and authorities have decided to distribute the people to the newer, organized camps that are located throughout Greece.
Authorities have known for some time that the conditions at this makeshift camp weren’t great, and it is believed that the refugees would have a better quality of life at the organized camps. Riot police were deployed to Idomeni early on Tuesday in order to facilitate the process of removal and to make sure that there are no complications. Despite the fact that the refugees will have a better quality of life at the other camps, there could still be some resistance.
Girogos Kyritsis, a government spokesman who addresses the refugee crisis to the public has said that the removal should begin on Tuesday, May 24 or Wednesday, May 25. It appears to happening right on schedule. He has also said that the goal of the police to maintain the peace and to not use force. He predicts that it will take anywhere from one week to ten days in order to complete the relocation effort. He has said that there are roughly 6500 spaces available at the existing camps and shelters located throughout Greece, with more spots to open up at the newer camps within the next few days. This means that there is enough room to transfer the refugees to camps that will give them a better life.
Despite the fact that these new camps are in much better condition than the makeshift camp at the border, it still doesn’t solve the big picture problem. Most of these families are eager to get on with their lives and find a place to live, get jobs, and send their children to school. It is predicted that there are around 54,000 migrants who have been stuck in Greece since March 2016 after many of the Balkan countries have closed their borders. Many families would like to end up in Germany, where they would be able to send their children to school and find jobs.