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PACE delegation visiting refugee camps in Athens and on Lesvos

Strasbourg, 27.05.2016 – A delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), chaired by its President Pedro Agramunt, will be travelling to Greece on 30 and 31 May to visit several refugee camps in Athens and on the island of Lesvos.

The aim is to allow members of the Assembly to better understand the challenges facing Greece, and to assess the situation of refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers in the country, as well as the implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement of 18 March 2016.

On 30 May, PACE President Pedro Agramunt and members of the Assembly will visit the Elliniko, Skaramagas and Eleonas centres in Athens. They will talk directly to the residents, the people running the camps, and NGOs present on the ground.

On the same day, Mr Agramunt will hold a bilateral meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament Nikolaos Voutsis. The delegation will subsequently hold an exchange of views with members of the Greek government – the Minister of Health, the Alternate Minister for Migration Policy, the Alternate Minister of Citizen Protection, the Alternate Minister of National Defence and the Alternate Minister of Social Solidarity.

On 31 May, visits are scheduled to the refugee camp in Schisto and the Port of Piraeus, and also discussions with the Mayor of Athens, the Governor of the Attica region, the Director of the Asylum Service, the Ombudsman, the Deputy Ombudsman for Children’s Rights and representatives of the National Commission for Human Rights.

A smaller delegation will travel to the island of Lesvos on 31 May, where it will visit the Moria reception and identification centre, the Madamado centre and the Kara Tepe refugee camp, and meet the representatives of the local authorities, the EU’s border agency FRONTEX and local NGOs.

A debate based on the report by Meritxell Mateu (Andorra, ALDE) on this visit will be held during the next PACE session in Strasbourg (20-24 June 2016), during which the report on “Refugees at risk in Greece”, being drafted by Tineke Strik (Netherlands, SOC), rapporteur for the Migration Committee, will also be discussed.

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PACE President Pedro Agramunt will make a statement to the press on Monday 30 May at 5.30 p.m. at the Greek Parliament and on Tuesday 31 May at 3.00 pm at Mytilini Townhall on the island of Lesvos.

Contact: Nathalie Bargellini, PACE Communication Division, ; mobile: +33 6 65 40 32 82 ; [email protected]

Twitter: @PACE_News and @PACE_President