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Greece gears up to better face refugee crisis in 2016

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  25 Dec 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Athens, Dec 24: Ahead of a harsh winter, Greece, with the support of its EU partners, is stepping up efforts to better tackle the refugee crisis in 2016, which has tested Athens and Europe throughout 2015. Athens has accelerated efforts to construct more screening centres (hot spots) for the accommodation of refugees while they wait to be relocated to other EU countries, reports Xinhua. The overwhelming majority of refugees and migrants from Syria, Afghanistan and other countries view Greece as a transit point on their way to more affluent European countries. More than 750,000 refugees and migrants landed on the Greek shores from January 2015 to early December, according to the Greek Coast Guard. About 94,000 have been rescued at sea, while more than 200 have perished in the Aegean. In the latest EU summit in Brussels on December 18, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reassured that two more hot spots on the Aegean islands with a registration capacity of 2,000 per day will be opened in two months to add to a screening centre already in operation on Lesvos island. Meanwhile, Greece will cooperate more closely with the newly established EU border and Coast Guard agency to better patrol its borders. (IANS)

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