Read the open letter from 3 mayors regarding the refugee/migrant centers in their areas

The government has admitted its lack of plan for immigrants to Greece at a time when they are being carted back and forth from Idomeni to Athens without a plan. The mayors of four regions in Athens have joined their voices in an open letter against the government’s reported plan for a creation of a migrant camp at the former Elliniko airport.

The letter:

December 10, 2015

Dear Minister Mouzalas,

We have been observing – with particular concern and worry – the increase in transfer of irregular immigrants to the south of Athens at hockey fields at Hellinikon and the Tae Kwon Do stadium of Paleo Faliro.

The human dimensions of the migrant matter are particularly important and nobody can overlook these. The State, however, is dealing with a matter of major importance such as this without having conducted the basic preparation and organization, leaving community groups and local authorities in the dark

What began around three months ago as a temporary shelter for refugees from wartorn regions has now turned into a permanent structure of open hospitality, not just for refugees but also for irregular immigrants.

Last September you had personally pledged that by the end of October the temporary structure of Hellinikon would closee, a commitment that unfortunately you failed to keep. Instead, we now learn that there is a plan for the installation of thousands of immigrants at the former airport in abandoned buildings and tents.

We are categorically opposed to this. We will not allow for the former airport to become a “depository of souls” as it absolutely fails to meet the preconditions to accomodate people. We will not allow for the former airport ot be turned into a venue to house economic migrants – and not Syrian refugees – that have not been allowed to enter Skopje and other European countries.

For the aforementioned reasons, we are inviting our local communities to be on alert.

We are asking you, Mr. Minister, to officially give answers, immediate and complete, to the following questions:

1. Who is offering guarantees as to the security of the wider region? It is officially clear that among the refugees and migrant flows there are extremist elements infiltrating our country.

2. How will you secure public health when all of a sudden thousands of people are flooding to an area that does not fulfil any of the preconditions for this purpose?

3. As what will the temporary installations of the former airport be used? As a reception center? As a hospitality center? As a transit area? And more importantly: Will it be an open or closed facility?

4. For how long do you plan to use Hellenikon for this purpose?

5. Who will take care of the feeding and cost of hospitality for these people?

6. Who will be responsible for the registration of these foreigners and in what way will this be done?

7. How and when will the separation of refugees from immigrants take place?

Mr. Minister,

It is a time of responsibility for all. We should all recognize that the south of Athens and our municipalities have fulfilled their humanitarian duties as they were obliged to do for the last three months.

The government should show the necessary sobriety and responsibility in matters of such dimensions. We are expressing our deep concern regarding the developments. We are waiting for an immediate meeting with you and a detailed official briefing.



Andreas Kondylis


George Papanikolaou


John Konstantatos


Dionysis Hatzidakis


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