Eviction of oldest camp near Athens
The Eleonas camp was scheduled to be closed in mid-August. This led to clashes between residents and activists and the police. The migrants do not want to be transferred again to a new “temporary” place, and long for long-term solutions and stability. Nevertheless, by the end of the year, all residents will be relocated, probably to the Schisto camp, the last of its kind around Athens. The NGO Solidarity With Migrants points out that accommodation in the city would be more appropriate. Eleonas camp was established in 2015 as the first on the Greek mainland and this summer still housed around 650 people.
Border protection deterrence
More and more (sail-) boats leaving Turkey are heading towards Italy instead of Greece, taking a longer and more dangerous route. During this month, several sailing boats with migrants aiming for Italy had to be rescued close to the Greek island of Crete. The so-called “robust border protection”, the continuation of the illegal push backs by Greek authorities and the deportations back to Turkey, seem to “successfully” deter migrants from choosing Greek islands as a destination, putting human lives at even greater risk.
Approximately 30,000 people intercepted this year
Again this month, illegal push backs by the Greek authorities have been reported. The Greek coast guard left 22 people on a dinghy at the sea after removing the engine from their boat. The dinghy was later found by the Turkish authorities patrolling the area, who say that similar scenes happen daily. According to the Turkish government, almost 30,000 people have been “rescued” –it would be more accurate to say “intercepted” or “collected in agreement with the Greek authorities”– in the Aegean Sea since the beginning of 2022. Thereby, the right to apply for asylum in Europe has been illegally denied to all these people. According to IOM(international organisation for migration), hundreds of people leave from the Turkish coast every day with the aim to reach Europe.
August 2022 in Numbers
191 boats with a total of 5,962 people have been stopped and pushed back by the Turkish coast guard and the Greek police between August 1 and 28.
1,351 people on 42 boats arrived on the Aegean Islands during the same period of time. A bit over 3,000 asylum seekers are currently registered on the Aegean Islands.