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Parliamentary questions
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1 February 2021
Question for written answer  E-000603/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Erik Marquardt (Verts/ALE)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Conditions in the Mavrovouni ‘temporary’ camp on Lesbos

Refugees have not been allowed to leave the new Kara Tepe camp (Mavrovouni) on Lesbos, except on urgent grounds, since the beginning of November 2020. The need to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is cited as the reason for that. The refugees are now effectively locked up.

Following a visit on 28 November 2020, minister Mitarakis said that measures to winterproof the camp had been completed, though conditions remain totally inadequate.

The camp is located on a disused firing range; there are consequently serious grounds for suspecting that the site is contaminated with lead. In this connection, the Commission evidently trusts unconfirmed reports from the Greek authorities, which, three months on from the opening of the camp, have been unable to provide results of independent laboratory tests of the soil. In addition, the Greek Government refers to the new camps as ‘closed controlled structures’. Journalists have been denied access to the camp for months.

1. Does the Commission view a camp that can be left only in exceptional circumstances as a closed camp or as a prison?

2. What reasons can be given by the Commission for the failure to comply with the Reception Conditions Directive in the camp, and what measures have been taken to rule out health risks on what is a former firing range?

3. How is the Commission ensuring that EU monies are not being used for closed camps?

Original language of question: DE
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