The president of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, will visit a refugee camp outside Athens during a three-day state visit to Greece this week.
Higgins’ visit takes place against the backdrop of an EU-Turkey deal from 2016 which was intended to see failed asylum-seekers returned to Turkey from Greece.
Speaking in October last year, the Irish head of state compared today’s refugee crises to the experience of Ireland’s people during the Great Famine of 1845-1849 which saw the mass starvation of around a million people and the forced emigration of a further one million.
As well as gaining first-hand experience of the refugee camp near the Greek capital, Higgins will also meet Greece’s political leadership and receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Athens.
A concert performed by Irish and Greek artists at the Megaron Concert Hall organized by Culture Ireland and the Irish Embassy is scheduled for Friday evening.