By Magda Panoutsopoulou
ATHENS (AA) – Following Greece’s closure of the Idomeni refugee camp along the border with Macedonia, the United Nations refugee agency urged the Greek government to find better conditions for the thousands of refugees displaced by the action.
Speaking to reporters in Geneva, Melissa Fleming, spokesperson for the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Refugees, said that though the evacuation process was completed without the use of force, “the conditions of some of these sites to which the refugees and migrants are transferred fall well below minimum standards.”
She said some of the displaced refugees and migrants have been moved into derelict warehouses and factories with tightly packed tents, poor air circulation, and insufficient food, water, toilets, showers, and electricity.
George Kyritsis, the government spokesperson responsible for coordinating the Idomeni evacuation, admitted on Friday that conditions were not ideal and the camp was insufficiently equipped, but pledged that “this will improve soon”.
Meanwhile around 80 refugees, men, women and children from a temporary camp in Pireaus were rushed to the hospital on Thursday with suspected food poisoning, in dramatic evidence of poor conditions and a lack of hygiene.
Kyritsis stated that the poisoning was caused by the consumption of food transported from the Elliniko camp to Pireaus in sub-standard storage conditions and refrigeration.