ATHENS, Greece, Jan. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Greek naval vessel has arrived at the island of Lesbos and will provide aid to some 300 refugees who are coping with freezing temperatures and a blanket of snow.
The Navy ship "Lesbos" is loaded with beds, stoves and mattresses for receiving and hosting refugees. The ship sailed on the direct order of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to Migration Policy Minister Yannis Mouzalas and the Minister of Defense, Panos Kammenos.
Officials of the Ministry of Migration Policy also opened spaces in the Moria area of the island that had remained closed in order to house particularly vulnerable groups of refugees. The goal in the coming days according to ministry officials is that no refugee or immigrant who has filed for asylum and is awaiting processing will be living in a tent. In addition, the last of 13 refugee children who had been staying in the camps have been delivered to non-governmental charitable organizations.
George Kyritsis, the government spokesman for Greece's refugee coordination unit, said "We had set as a goal by the beginning of autumn to go get through winter without having refugees housed in tents. This for the most part we achieved on the mainland, but did not succeed in the islands. This was due to a difficulty to build additional facilities because of reactions and because of the objections in the European Union to our proposal to transport some individuals to the mainland -where better infrastructure and living conditions exist- from the islands while still maintaining the agreement scheme between the EU and Turkey."
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SOURCE Government of Greece