Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis today announced the imminent closure of Kara Tepe camp on the island of Lesbos, where about 7,000 refugees have been living in adverse conditions since the late summer fires.
In a letter sent to the Mayor of Mytilene, Stratís Kytelis, the minister informed that the asylum applications of all the inhabitants of the camp had been examined and the communication of the results is being made.
According to the minister, in the coming weeks, when the transfer of 1,104 refugees to Germany is planned, the Lesbos camp will be closed and the land will be returned to the town hall of Mytilene.
Mitarakis added that, no later than November, all apartments and hotels that house refugees under government programs will be evacuated and their residents will be moved to a new closed camp, which has not yet been built.
The minister said that in the past six months more than 8,500 refugees – of whom 3,900 have left Lesvos – have been transferred from the Aegean islands to mainland Greece.
In addition, the Ministry ensures that the refugee population of Lesbos was reduced by 58% in January, compared to the same month in 2020, when there were 20,868 asylum seekers.
Last year, the arrival of migrants and refugees by sea to the Greek islands decreased significantly.
Dozens of humanitarian organizations have repeatedly denounced that the Greek Coast Guard has forced refugees to return to Turkey, but the Athens government describes these reports as false.