Greek Prime Minister Tsipras has told the European Union commission in Brussels that he needs at least 470 million euros to house and feed the new waves of migrants who have been trapped in his country after the border closure in neighbouring Macedonia.
The Greek government has projected that the backlog of migrants could be as many as 100,000 trapped in various Aegean islands, and the ever growing number along the Greek border, reports Der Spiegel. Some of those frustratedly trying to gain entry to the European Union (EU) were recently filmed attempting to break down the Macedonian border fence with a makeshift battering ram.
The incident at Idomeni has lead the Greek military into action building seven new camps to house more than 20,000 people in the area. Currently there are around 8,000 migrants waiting for a chance to get through the border to western Europe. The United Nations warned that a lack of shelter, water and food could strain tensions even more and lead to more frequent and more violent outbursts by migrants.
The costs will be allocated mostly to housing the growing number of migrants making their way from Turkey. Around 50,000 of the migrants are to be housed in existing and new asylum centres and another 50,000 will be accommodated in various hotels. The money may be a blessing for many hoteliers who have seen drastic cut backs in holiday bookings as migrants have arrived non stop since the beginning of the crisis with some resorts being under booked by as much as 90 percent compared with the previous year.
Safety is also huge concern for locals as well as migrants. Pay for 8200 police officers and civilian staff is also part of the proposal in order to maintain security as well as organize health remedies for injured and sick migrants as well as provide adequate food to meet their needs. The civilian force will also attempt to register each migrant rather than let them through to Germany or Sweden to register as was the case in 2015.
Tsipras also issued an ultimatum to the EU saying that it is imperative that other EU nations bear the burden of accommodating migrants and that it must not fall to Greece alone. On March 7th there will be an upcoming summit held between the EU and Turkey. Tsipras says that if he does not get the money or the agreement to allow migrants to leave Greece he will use the Greek veto to make sure that no agreements get passed on any subject brought up at the meeting.
The Greek port city of Pireaus is set to receive another thousand migrants on Tuesday crossing in boats from Turkey. The coast guard of Greece has said that there has been a build up due to heavy winds at sea and that it should resume in full force when conditions improve.