(Greece) – Dimistris Mardas, the Greek Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, has said that the new investment law includes provisions that will allow migrants and refugees to invest in Greece. As part of this initiative, the government has plans to convert a small island that is off the coast of Euboea into an artistic and cultural hub. Called the “Arts and Philosophy Initiative”, this move is designed to give migrants and refugees a chance to express themselves and positively contribute to the society in Greece.
However, there are some that are concerned that the project is more than the current cash-strapped government can handle. Addressing this, Mardas has said, that the government plans to fund the project through the private sector, a move that has seen some controversy over the past few weeks. Recently, the government entered into a privatization deal of the abandoned Hellenikon airport. Mardas has pointed out that this deal is proof that the government is perfectly capable of funding projects through the private sector. The Hellinikon deal was required by the international creditors in order to release vital bailout funds that will help Greece pay off its upcoming loans. Greece has been in a recession since well before the first bailout was awarded back in 2010.
There has been a growing discontent amongst the migrant camps in recent weeks as long wait times for asylum seekers have decreased morale. The migrants and refugees left their countries in search of better lives and the fact that they are forced to wait for months or even closer to a year has caused some problems. The Greek government has put moves in place that are designed to speed up the process of processing the asylum applications. It is thought that giving migrants and refugees a chance to do something positive during their time in Greece will help considerably.