As Greece comes under renewed pressure and criticism from the EU and humanitarian organisations over its handling of the migrant crisis and overcrowded camps, many new migrant arrivals are now being placed in private apartments and hotels across the mainland to ease pressure off Greek islands.
According to ANA the Greek Migration Ministry has initiated a program to place migrants in apartments, using 5 million euros donated by Parliament to tackle the refugee crisis.
From September 21 to October 5, 1,567 people from Moria Camp in Lesvos had been moved into apartments in Volvi in central Macedonia, with 100 more expected in the next few days. Another 792 spots were created by renting nine hotels in Grevena, western Macedonia, of which 400 have already been covered.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), will also be providing another 5,000 hotel spots by end-October.
Aid groups have issued warnings of the growing safety and mental health crisis in Moria and a report by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) claims more than 8500 people are crammed into a site which only has the capacity to host 3100.
“There is only one shower for every 84 people and one toilet for every 72 people,” the report said, and “the sewage system is so overwhelmed that raw sewage has been known to reach the mattresses where children sleep.”
These reports come as other European countries are taking an increasingly tough stance against migrants altogether.