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Immigration Minister Calls Migrants in the Streets 'Tourist Attraction'

areos01010Greece’s Deputy Immigration Minister Tasia Christodoulopoulou called the thousands of migrants sleeping in the streets of Athens and Aegean Sea islands a “tourist attraction.”
Speaking to Proto Thema newspaper, Christodoulopoulou said that the thousands of homeless migrants are not a problem for tourism: “Tourists know where they are going. In fact, tourists head to where there are oddities. They go to India, where children die on the streets; I haven’t seen the tourism flow to India stopping because of that; they go to Egypt where people sleep in cemeteries. What will a Syrian do to someone who is swimming in the sea (in Greece)?”
The deputy said that the ministry will establish camps for refugees and undocumented migrants who enter Greece by the thousands since the beginning of the year. Refugees from war-torn Syria along with illegal migrants from the Middle East, Asia and Africa arrive on the Greek islands or mainland borders by the hundreds each day.
The 2,000-capacity open camps are a necessity because smaller facilities are not sufficient to house the unexpectedly large number of migrants and refugees. Previous plans to house refugees in abandoned army camps, closed hospitals and hotels, or even empty apartment buildings have been abandoned because of the large number, Christodoulopoulou said.
It is estimated that 48,000 migrants entered Greece in the first half of 2015. Presently, thousands of them who have been transferred to Athens, camp out in squares and parks of the capital.
The deputy minister said that funds for housing and feeding the migrants are depleted and that Greece will receive additional funds by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the European Union in August. At the moment, the Greek Armed Forces have taken the responsibility to provide them with food until then.

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