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Ionian Trade & Business Federation opposed to accepting refugees

Civil Protection
09 Oct 2019 / 10:39

CORFU. Federation President Giorgos Tseremis has sent a letter to the Civil Protection Ministry asking for direct, detailed answers.

"It is with great concern that we have been witnessing the recent increase in numbers of refugees and illegal immigrants in the North Aegean.

The humanitarian aspect of the refugee and immigrant issue is extremely important and noone can ignore it. The war in Yugoslavia and the opening of the Albanian borders had a major impact on the Ionian Islands - especially Corfu. Noone at that time, thought of Corfu and the Ionian Islands.

However, the State is facing a major issue without any kind of preparation and organisation and local communities and local authorities remain in the dark.

We wish to make it clear that we are totally opposed. We are not going to allow Corfu and the Ionian Islands to once again become a 'human repository' as they don't have the necessary conditions to receive people. We will not allow them to be turned into an accommodation site for immigrants - not Syrian refugees - who haven't been allowed into North Macedonia and other European countries. We call on local communities to be vigilant.

Mr. Minister, we would like to officially ask you to answer the following important questions directly and in detail.:

1. Who is guaranteeing the safety of the region? It is known officially that amongst the refugees and immigrants coming to our country there are extremists who are showing clearly who they are every day.

2. How will public health be safeguarded when suddenly people are being brought into a region which doesn't have the necessary infrastructure and conditions for this?

3. How will the facilities in the Ionian Islands operate? As reception centres? As accommodation centres? Transit centres? And most important of all, will the facilities be open or closed?

4. How long do you intend to use the Ionian Islands for this purpose?

5. Who will be responsible for the costs of feeding and accommodating these people?

6. Who will be responsible for registering these people and how will it be done?

Don't forget that Corfu and the Ionian Islands is a border region with infrastructure problems such as WATER, WASTE MANAGEMENT, ROAD NETWORKS even without the new problems which will create a negative image of our islands, whose ONLY economic activity is Tourism."