An agreement to house and host refugees on Crete in the coming days was signed by Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas, the UNHCR and local authorities in Heraklion on Tuesday.
The program to house asylum seekers in 125 apartments in Crete will cost 1,760,000 euros and will be funded by the European Commission.
“It is a program which, wherever it has been implemented, and we already have the experience of housing 20,000 people, has never caused trouble, quarrels, clashes, or anything else,” he said in a joint press conference.
“On the contrary, it has offered the local community money which would otherwise go to camps and will now be spent inside the community with the apartments,” he added.
Mouzalas also announced that as of May 1, catering services in camps will be terminated and asylum seekers will instead be given cash to buy food and cook their own meals.