Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarakis said on Thursday that Greece would send buses to Poland to receive and resettle refugees from Ukraine following an appeal from the Polish government.
The appeal was made due to the fact that more than 1.2 million Ukrainians found refuge there. However, the minister stressed that any step would not be forced, but voluntary.
The Minister said that Greece could accept about 30,000 Ukrainian refugees, and indicated that if there were more refugees, Greece could apply for emergency funding EU to cover expenses.
Mitarakis, in an interview with SKAI TV, noted that on March 10, more than 7,000 Ukrainian refugees arrived in Greece. According to him, they are almost immediately issued a residence permit for 12 months. The minister explained that most of them remain with fellow Ukrainians who already live in Greece.
“Poland turned to us yesterday for help. We will send planes or buses to transport people from Poland to Greece, because more than 1.3 million people are now being accepted there. 7,000 Ukrainians have already arrived in our country, they almost immediately receive a 12-month residence permit,” the minister said.
On Wednesday, the Greek Minister of Education said more than 1,000 refugee students would study in local schools. Most come from the 120,000 ethnic Greek community in the besieged city of Mariupol, and many speak Greek. For children who do not speak Greek, special language courses will be launched.
As found out Athens News editorialGreece is not helping Ukrainian refugees much yet.
In particular, as of March 10, a refugee camp is provided for Ukrainians, located 5 km from the Promakhos border crossing, where Ukrainians can receive shelter, food and minimal medical care.
As for more serious medical care, the Ministry of Migration explained: if a refugee has a health problem, he can apply to any state medical institution, where he will be helped free of charge.
The issues of living and studying for schoolchildren in Greece have not yet been resolved, but the ministry assured us that the issue is being resolved, and in the near future citizens from Ukraine will be provided with housing within the framework of the state refugee assistance program.
However, when obtaining a temporary residence permit, Ukrainians also receive right to workunlike other refugees. Apparently, in this way, the European Union made it clear that they would not pay money to refugees from Ukraine, as to those who arrived from Asia and Africa.
Recall that information on assistance to refugees from Ukraine can be obtained:
- by phone +302131629600, where they will answer in Ukrainian, Greek and English from Monday to Friday, from 7:00 to 22:00;
- via website migration.gov.gr;