Catholic World News

Caritas: Greece is becoming a ‘refugee camp’ as borders close

March 11, 2016

Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies, lamented the decisions of leaders in Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Macedonia to slow or halt the entry of migrants into their nations—leaving thousands of migrants in Greece.

Over 820,000 of the 1.01 million migrants and refugees who entered Europe in 2015 did so by entering Greece, and almost all arrived by sea. An additional 131,847 migrants and refugees arrived in Greece by sea between January 1 and March 7, according to the International Organization for Migration.

“As European borders go up, refugees and migrants are being left stranded and desperate,” Caritas stated on March 9.

Caritas added:

The decision to impose tighter border restrictions is effectively converting Greece into a refugee camp indefinitely. In Greece, in Idomeni and in Athens at Piraeus Port and Victoria Square, refugees and migrants are in need of humanitarian assistance. They have no or limited access to toilets, to medical services and to information and legal services.

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