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UNHCR chief urges Greece to improve conditions in refugee camps

UNHCR chief urges Greece to improve conditions in refugee camps

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees urged the Greek government on Wednesday to improve living conditions in migrant camps. Greece’s new conservative government said it would “shut the door” to people not entitled to stay in the country and announced plans to close overcrowded refugee camps.

They could be replaced with detention centers to be used both for deporting failed asylum seekers and as a reception and processing center for new arrivals.

“We cannot accept that [refugees] live in such miserable living conditions. The conditions are very challenging and need urgent improvement,” Commissioner Filippo Grandi said after visiting camps on the island of Lesbos. Grandi said Greece was the most impacted among the EU’s coastal states by the migrant crisis and asked for a collective European solution to protect unaccompanied minors.

Arrivals of migrants from neighboring Turkey have risen again in recent months, with more than 37,000 people crammed into facilities on the eastern Aegean islands.