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Greece Grants Protection Status to Ukrainian Refugees

Ukrainian refugees Greece
A demonstration in support of Ukraine was held in Athens on Tuesday. Credit: Greek Reporter

Greece will provide one-year protection status along with rights to work and medical care to Ukrainian refugees entering Greece, the Migration & Asylum Ministry announced on Wednesday.

This will be issued to Ukrainian nationals within 90 days of their entering Greece, as the usual 90-day visa entry requirement for nationals of non-EU countries does not apply in their case currently, it was added.

Ukrainians who do not have any travel documents and are entering Greece via the Promachonas border station in northern Greece can be provided with a document that will allow them to receive protection status, in collaboration with the Ukrainian Embassy in Greece.

Ukrainians entering Greece at this point will be able to stay briefly at a nearby hosting facility before applying for longer-term housing via this email address:

A helpline has been set up by the migration ministry at 30-213-1629600, which offers guidance in Ukrainian, English and Greek, from Monday to Friday from 7:00 in the morning through 10:00 at night. More information is available here.

More than one million people fled Ukraine

On Thursday the head of the United Nations refugee agency said more than one million people have fled Ukraine since Russian forces invaded the country last week.

Filippo Grandi said in a post on Twitter on Thursday:

In just seven days we have witnessed the exodus of one million refugees from Ukraine to neighbouring countries. For many millions more, inside Ukraine, it’s time for guns to fall silent, so that life-saving humanitarian assistance can be provided.”

Most refugees are heading to Poland and Moldova, but they are also going to Romania, Slovakia and Hungary.

Athens offers accommodation to Ukrainian refugees

The Athens municipality can host Ukrainian refugees at its summer camp facilities at Agios Andreas, on the eastern coast of Attica, it said on Wednesday.

Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis said the city is “in contact with the Ukrainian Embassy in Athens to host refugees” and has drawn up a plan to operate the camp. The city will also initiate a humanitarian campaign to collect assistance for the Ukrainian people.

Greece offers jobs in the tourism sector

Greece also decided to show its solidarity with Ukrainian refugees who are streaming out of their country by opening up 50,000 jobs in the tourism sector to Greek expatriates and refugees.

Greek Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilias, in a press release issued recently announced that there were over 50,000 job openings that were not covered by the domestic market last year.

“Could these people with dignity, with European contracts and collective labor contracts be absorbed and help in this sector?” he asked, inferring that these positions could be filled by Ukrainian refugees and Greek expats.

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