(Greece) – The Greek government has cleared several makeshift migrant camps and in the process, they’ve also detained around thirty-four volunteers. Riot police were also sent to the camps in order to encourage over 1000 migrants from Syria and Iraq to leave the camps. Buses were waiting near the camps to transport them to a state run camp in Thessaloniki. The volunteers who were detained are not facing any charges. They were helping out at the camps to help perform tasks such as distributing food and helping other basic functions. The reason why they were detained was because they weren’t allowed to enter the facility while the police and authorities were trying to evacuate the migrants. However, they were eventually released without being charged. Journalists also weren’t allowed to access the areas.
Greece has increased the number of spaces available in the state run camps and there have been several new camps that were being built. Last month, they evacuated the makeshift Idomeni camp that was also located at the northern border between Greece and the Former Republic of Macedonia. Many of the refugees opted to move on to other villages near Idomeni rather than be taken to the camps. They feared that once they get to the state camps that they would be stuck in Greece for a lot longer.
Morale amongst refugees has been low because of the long wait times once they apply for asylum. Many refugees didn’t even plan to apply for asylum in Greece, but circumstances beyond their control have made that a necessary move. Greece has stepped up their efforts to process the applications. Makeshift camps have sprung up throughout the country in an effort to house the refugees once they arrive in Greece. Now that there are more spaces available in the state camps, however, this is no longer necessary.