Greek Deputy Migration Policy Minister Tasia Christodoulopoulou received Athens mayor Giorgos Kaminis on Friday and asked for the municipality’s assistance in providing food and shelter to refugees and migrants entering Greece. They both agreed on the need for exemplary cooperation to deal with the problem.
Afterward, Christodoulopoulou thanked the mayor for his prompt response to her call to discuss ways to decongest downtown Athens, boost the residents’ sense of security, while at the same time provide shelter to refugees and migrants.
Kaminis noted that the obligations must be equally shared throughout Greek territory and that help must be sought from the EU. He said the municipality cannot accept refugees and migrants at existing welfare shelters since these are already occupied. He proposed that the Interior Ministry should use community funds to rent some 1,800 unoccupied buildings within the city limits, most of them belonging to private owners.
He also suggested that the Defense Ministry should contribute by using unused army bases, officers’ camps and real estate owned by the armed forces.
In terms of providing food, Kaminis said the municipality can assist via existing soup kitchens operating in collaboration with the Athens Archiepiscopate.
A new meeting on the matter, attended by Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis, is planned on Saturday morning.