Desperate emergency calls reach us from Athens. Elderly people, women with children, families – countless people who were previously in Moria or other refugee camps now live without protection in parks and on the pavements.
Elaha (*all names changed), 86, who is being sheltered from the rain by her daughter-in-law, was already ill in Moria. When they were granted refugee status and allowed to leave Moria, it seemed like good news. Now they are – like hundreds of others – in Athens, homeless and without any claim to help.
In recent weeks the Greek government has granted refugee status to more and more refugees in Moria. Apparently, this is intended to prevent further expansion of the camps. Within five days, all those who are granted refugee status must leave the camps. They may go wherever they wish. But when they leave the camps, they lose any right to support. Only with a new registration address could they apply for support again and also a tax number and the health insurance they need if they want to work.
But first, many of them arrive in Athens destitute. Solmaz, who fled Afghanistan with her children, reports that she spent her money on food in Moria. They lived there for a year. All their savings have been used up. She and the children have now been camped for two days in Victoria Park, without supplies, without access to water, toilets, shelter.