Current situation in Greece: https://live.w2eu.info/en/greece/
Balkan Route Info - Live-Feed of Welcome to Europe: Information for refugees traveling from Greece to Northern Europe in arabic, farsi and english.
Greece > Overview
Greece is one of the major countries where people are entering the European Union through the Turkish-Greek borders (at land and sea). The EU has put a lot of pressure on the Greek government to close these external borders and invested into its closure by sending Frontex – officers of a specialized EU-border agency – and by funding “border security”. Despite increasing difficulties to cross the border, until today Greece remains one of the main transit countries for migrants trying to enter the EU.
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Greece > Welcome Guide (PDF-document)
Greece > Hot Spots on the Islands (Arrival after 20th of March 2016)
Since the summer 2015 authorities on Lesvos Island are officially running the closed camp “Moria” as a so-called Reception and Identification Centre or Hot Spot in Greece. Until March 2016, four more Hot Spots were opened on the islands of the Aegean on Samos, Chios, Kos and Leros. These Hot Spots are designed as closed camps where the identification and registration of newcomers in Europe takes place first.
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Greece > Asylum
You have to personally lodge an asylum application before the competent authority, which is the Asylum Office (in Athens, Lesvos Island, Samos island, Chios island, Rhodes Island, South and North Evros Region, in Thessaloniki, as well as in the detention centres: Amygdaleza, Xanthi and in Corinth). If you are detained or in a First Reception Center, the detention authorities (police) and also the First Reception authorities will register your wish to seek international protection and refer you to the competent examination authority.
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Greece > Family reunification
Families might find themselves in a situation where one person went first to a specific country, and his/her family-member has remained behind in another European country. In that case, you have the possibility to ask for family reunification. You apply in the country where you are, in order to go where your relative is. Attention! Currently no one can estimate how long the procedure will take until you are out of Greece and reunified with your family as more than 50,000 refugees got trapped in Greece.
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Greece > Relocation
Relocation is the legal transfer of persons who are considered to require international protection (asylum and subsidiary protection) from one member state of the European Union to another member state after having been found eligible by the authorities of Greece. Until today, relocation has been completed for very few persons although the EU had announced high numbers already in 2015.
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Greece > Dublin III
On the 8th of December 2016, the European Union Commission suggested the resumption of Dublin Returns to Greece, beginning in March 2017. Germany suggested already that it agreed that Greece had sufficiently improved the conditions for refugees, so that Germany would plan to re-start the returns from the 15th of March. With this announcement, the European governments show that they close their eyes to the fact that the living and detention conditions in the Greek camps continue to be deplorable and inhuman, that access to the asylum procedure is still not guaranteed, that procedures remain dysfunctional in general and that many of refugees continue to suffer from inhuman and degrading treatment while being stuck in Greece. The European Commission’s recommendation included a gradual resumption of returns, with a first focus to return the ones who arrived in Europe after this date (15th of March) and not including unaccompanied minors or other vulnerable persons at that point.
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Greece > Minors
Minors are often held in detention what is officially not allowed. Their age is often changed by the authorities to make them older.
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Greece > Detention
According to the law, you can be detained from a few hours up to six months. Your detention can be extended twice, for a maximum of 12 months in total. If that happens then the competent authorities will issue a new detention decision. Nowadays, if someone is detained, he/she is in practice normally released after 6 months.
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Greece > Housing
There are three different categories of housing facilities for refugees in Greece: 1. reception places (mainly for unaccompanied minors and a few families); 2. the transit camps with usually very difficult living conditions; 3. Squats and solidarity spaces that offer accommodation without any involvement of government and authorities.
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Risks, Rights & Safety at Sea - Aegean Sea: Greece/Turkey
These informations are for people who are considering to cross the sea between Turkey and Greece. They aim neither at deterring people from, nor at encouraging people to attempt the crossing, but rather at providing objective informations and sharing experiences about risks, rights, and vital safety measures to take at sea. Read more … Risks, Rights & Safety at Sea - Aegean Sea: Greece/Turkey
Greece > Reports
Here you may find reports about the refugees situation in Greece, done by activist-groups and NGOs who are close to the network Welcome to Europe.
Read more … Greece > Reports