Athens.- Preparations are under way in Thessaloniki so the northern city will be in a position to house refugees who will find it more difficult to cross Greece’s northern borders while heading to Central Europe in the winter.
According to Kathimerini, around 120 prefabricated structures, similar to those used to house refugees at the Elaionas camp in Athens, have been moved to the city and are to be installed on land belonging to the Hellenic Railways Organization.
Tens of thousands of mostly Syrian refugees have passed through northern Greece this summer as they head to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary on their way to Germany and other European countries further north.
Meanwhile caretaker Prime Minister Vassiliki Thanou visited Chios and Lesvos islands on Saturday and Sunday respectively. On Saturday, Thanou met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew who is also visiting the island, while on Sunday she was expected to visit the refugee reception center in Moria and several NGOs and volunteer organisations that are active in assisting refugees.
Around 40,000 refugees are expected to arrive in Germany in the next few days, doubling the number who entered the country last weekend.
The travellers are expected to enter the country at southern Munich, where 7,200 refugees arrived today, after travelling over the Austrian border.
German defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen told Der Spiegel that 4,000 soldiers will be available to help with the latest unprecedented influx of Syrian refugees.
“They will provide a helping hand, for example to set up a refugee camp, to help with organisation, provide buses and drivers, other types of transport, medical services and equipment, anything of that kind,” a Defence Ministry spokesman told The Local.
On Thursday the army said that they are already housing 14,500 refugees in 41 locations, most of whom are arriving by train via Austria.
Almost 90,000 people registered online to say that they would attend Solidarity with Refugees march in London on 12 September Almost 90,000 people registered online to say that they would attendSolidarity with Refugees march in London on 12 September There are concerns about how some areas will cope with the number of refugees set to arrive. However, state broadcaster ARD found in a poll that 61 per cent of Germans are not afraid of the country’s mass refugee intake.
The mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, has appealed urgently to other German regions to help to process and accommodate more refugees, calling their failure to do more “scandalous”, according to ARD.
An emergency shelter has been opened in a two-storey, vacant office building in north east Munich with 2,500 places.
Since announcing last month that it would allow applicationsfrom Syrian refugees regardless of where they first arrived in the EU, Germany has said it expects to take 800,000 asylum seekers this year.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that they should be integrated and helped with finding work as quickly as possible.
According to the International Office for Migration (IOM), a record of 433,000 refugees have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe this year, many arriving in Italy and Greece and traveling north to Germany.
Austria leader likens Hungary PM’s refugee policies to Nazi deportations, stirs row
Austria’s chancellor criticized Hungary for its handling of the refugee crisis on Saturday, likening the country’s policies to Nazi deportations during the Jewish Holocaust as refugees complained of their treatment in the eastern European country.
Thousands of refugees are crossing the border to Hungary, an eastern outpost of Europe’s passport-free Schengen zone, every day, and many are travelling on to the continent’s more prosperous west and north in what is Europe’s worst refugee crisis since the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.RE
Refugees continued to stream into Germany, favoured for its generous welfare system and relatively liberal asylum laws, on Saturday, with 3,600 arriving at Munich’s main train station during the morning as authorities warned they might not be able to cope with an extra 6,800 that could arrive by the evening.
In an interview with German news magazine Der Spiegel, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann likened Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s treatment of refugees to the Nazis’ deportations of Jews and others to concentration camps.
“Sticking refugees in trains and sending them somewhere completely different to where they think they’re going reminds us of the darkest chapter of our continent’s history,” he said.
On September 3, migrants boarded a train in Budapest in the belief that they were heading to the border with Austria but the train was stopped 35km (22 miles) west of the capital in the town of Bicske, where Hungary has a camp for asylum seekers.
Hungary dismissed Faymann’s comments as “utterly unworthy of a 21st century European leader” and summoned Austria’s ambassador.
Hungarian foreign minister Peter Szijjarto said the Austrian chancellor had been pursuing a “campaign of lies” against Hungary for weeks that made it harder to find a common European solution to the crisis.