In July the makeshift refugee camps in and around Patra were dismantled by the Greek authorities. Despite the governments most ardent desires, these refugees (hundreds, maybe thousands in Patra alone) have not just disappeared. Enter, Igoumenitsa (photo above).
Igoumenitsa, the new Patras
Thousands of migrants moved from Patras (northern Peloponnesus) to Igoumenitsa (western Greece), after the demolition of a makeshift camp in Patras last July. The selection of this location is related to the fact that the port of Igoumenitsa is an important exit point to Italy, which is the next destination of migrants. The transfer of the migrants from one city to the other signals a lack of coordinated action and policy. Especially after the construction of Egnatia Odos, the main highway in Greece, the access to Igoumenitsa’s port is easier, leading to a rise in irregular migrants’ arrivals. It is estimated that at least 1,000 migrants (mainly of Afghan origin) are currently squatting in fields, deserted houses, even in stables, in Igoumenitsa, under extremely poor conditions.