Worrying asylum situation in Greece
After an intense three-day delegation of the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee to the Evros region and Athens in Greece, Cypriot GUE/NGL MEP Kyriacos Triantaphyllides today called for the immediate closure of the detention centres of Pallio Elliniko and Vena where detention conditions were found to be "painfully indescribable".
"Any centre which does not respect EU standards and human rights should be immediately closed down", he said adding that "unaccompanied minors should never be detained".
Noting the generally positive cooperation of national authorities, Triantaphyllides encouraged authorities to shift skills and resources from detention to reception centres with adequate medical help and social programmes. Such a shift should be followed by a promotion of the presence of NGOs in centres, in contrast to the current situation where their access is severely restricted.
He also noted that "one of the biggest challenges for Greece in developing a functioning asylum system is the enormous backlog that has been accumulated over the years (numbers range from 45000 to 55000 cases). It is paramount that an efficient solution is found to finally bring these people out of the limbo they have been stuck in for sometimes as long as a decade".
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20