EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos is “not the happiest person on earth,” he said in Brussels as he presented the latest figures for EU refugee and migration policy. EU member states are still accepting too few asylum seekers waiting in Greece and Italy, the arrival point for most refugees and migrants. The intra-EU agreement to resettle refugees has faltered since a large majority agreed to it at the height of the refugee crisis in September 2015. Of 160,000 refugees intended to have been resettled around the EU by October 2016, about 5 percent, or 8,000 people, have been.
“The refugee crisis is not over,” Avramopoulos said. “It just has taken on new form since a year ago.” Then, people came via the Balkans to central Europe. Now, they are finding their way to Italy and Greece. Italy received nearly as many migrants by boat this year as last. In Greece, 70,000 people are waiting in ill-equipped shelters to be processed, settled or deported. Living conditions for refugees in Greece do not meet European standards, DW reported on Wednesday. The European Commission and Greece have jumpstarted projects to winterize refugee camps and provide warmer clothing to those there.
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(Archive photo: IOM)