Via Athens Plus (Athens Plus is currently unavailable online but you can download the pdf from here)
Europeans urged not to send refugees to Greece
Watchdog says facilities not good enough
European countries should stop sending asylum seekers to Greece because it does not have the adequate infrastructure or procedures to process the refugees, Amnesty International said this week. According to a report by AI’s Greek section, a total of 995 would-be asylum seekers were sent back to Greece by countries such as the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and Belgium in the first 10 months of 2009. The European Union’s Dublin II Regulation stipulates that refugees should apply for asylum in the first EU country they enter, increasingly Greece. But Greece has neither adequate reception centers nor sufficiently efficient administration to be able to deal with this level of return. “We are asking European countries to stop returning asylum seekers to Greece until improvements have been made to the Greek system and until the Dublin Regulation has been revised so that the responsibility of providing asylum to migrants is more fairly distributed,” the head of AI’s Greek branch, Georgia Trismpioti, told Kathimerini English Edition. Until new reception centers are opened, many of the migrants arriving in Greece, and most of those being returned, have nowhere to go. “A lot of them are probably on the streets, some of them staying with compatriots, others find a place in hostels,” Trismpioti said.