Clashes as Greek authorities evacuate Athens refugee campGreek authorities clashed with migrants as they started evacuating one of the last refugee camps in Athens.

By 1 month ago

Police and migrants faced off on Thursday as Greek authorities started evacuating one of the last refugee camps in Athens.

The attempted eviction of the Eleonas camp, which hosts around 670 refugees and migrants, started at around 5:00 am local time.

Police were seen removing barricades residents had built around the camp's gates in anticipation of the clearance operation.

Migrants and activists clashed with riot police, who used tear gas and a flash grenade to push back protestors, according to videos posted by activists at the scene.

Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi said on Twitter Thursday that the government was "proceeding with the closure of the Eleonas camp" as part of an upgrade of the area and with places available in other areas.

"Unfortunately, a small group of migrants and solidarity groups are trying to disrupt the move," Mitarachi said.

Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi

An official at the migration ministry told AFP that all the migrants who were transferred had consented and that the evacuation process from Eleonas would be completed by the end of the year.

Eleonas was the first camp to open in mainland Greece in August 2015.

Several officials from around the world have visited the camp to gauge the migration situation in Greece, including ex-French president Francois Hollande and the president of the European parliament Roberta Metsola.

Greece is often the country of choice for people fleeing Africa and the Middle East to try to reach a better life in the European Union.

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Copyright GreekCityTimes 2022