Catalan volunteers to bring dignity to Vasilika refugee camp in Greece

August 5, 2016 02:31 PM | Sara Prim

Two months after the Greek Police evicted the self-managed refugee camp at Eko Station, which hosted 1,800 people at a motorway petrol station 20 kilometres south of Idomeni, a group of Catalan volunteers aim to reproduce the projects which were carried out there in Vasilika, a military-run refugee camp located in an old warehouse in Central Macedonia, Greece. Most of the people settled in Eko Station, mainly Syrians and Iraqis, were moved to Vasilika, a camp which doesn’t comply with the minimum hygienic, sanitary and alimentary conditions. In order to bring dignity to this facility the volunteers have started to set up a 4,000-square-metre space which will host a school, a communal kitchen, a library and several communal areas to host workshops and activities for people of all ages. The initiative is expected to serve the 1,200 people currently living in Vasilika.

Caravan transformed into a dental clinic to help refugees

June 10, 2016 10:27 AM | N. Guisasola / Ivet Puig

‘Amb les teves mans’ (‘With your hands’) is a Catalan NGO which has cre-ated a mobile dental clinic to attend refugees in Greece. The idea was born in March when some of the volunteers from this organisation trav-elled to Lesbos and Idomeni, on the border between Greece and Mace-donia. The doctors they talked to at the Idomeni camp explained that one of the main difficulties they have to deal with regarding the dental problems of the refugees is that many children under 13 have never had the opportunity to visit the dentist before. They will first carry out en-dodontic treatment, fillings for cavities, and tooth extractions for those who need them. The Catalan Association of Dentists has got involved in the project and is helping to find professional volunteers and the re-quired material.

Catalonia hosts half of the 20 refugees newly arrived in Spain

May 24, 2016 02:41 PM | ACN

Three Syrian families, including 4 minors, make up the 10 refugees which will be relocated to Catalonia. They are part of a group of 20 people which arrived this Tuesday in Madrid. 44 more people, expected to arrive on the 30th of May, will follow this first group and 19 more will arrive on the 1st of June. 67 more are due to arrive in Spain by the end of June. In addition, 50 more refugees from Italy will begin to be hosted in Spain shortly, of which 18 are already in Spain as part of a pilot programme. In total, 586 people will be relocated to Spain by the end of June, according to the current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs, Jorge Fernández Díaz. Thus, Spain will become the fourth European country in terms of number of refugees hosted, but so far it only hosts 18 refugees of the 16,000 it has agreed to relocate. 

Barcelona reaches an agreement with Athens to initially host 100 refugees

March 16, 2016 06:33 PM | ACN

The Catalan capital reached an agreement with Athens to host 100 refugees from those living in camps in the Greek capital. This compromise is the first stage of a collaboration programme between both cities, which may be enhanced by the respective mayors in the near future. Since the competences regarding the refugees’ hosting depend on the Spanish State, Barcelona’s mayor, Ada Colau, will send a letter to the current Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, so that the necessary procedures can be started as soon as possible. In the same vein, Colau criticised Spain’s inactivity on this matter, pointing out that the Spanish government “took the compromise to relocate 16,000 people and have only relocated 18”, she stated.

Catalonia to host summit of Mediterranean regions on humanitarian crisis in July

May 20, 2015 10:43 PM | ACN

The Catalan Government and the regional governments of Sicily and Provence are promoting a manifesto requesting the European Union to meet the challenge of the humanitarian crisis taking place at the Mediterranean Sea. ‘We are all Mediterranean’ aims to strengthen the commitment at regional level to face and solve this crisis, since the EU and the Member State governments “are not up to the challenge”. In addition, the Catalan Government also confirmed the organisation of a summit of Mediterranean regions to be held in July in Barcelona “to work together and see in which way the regions can give a more comprehensive answer” to the drama suffered by so many refugees crossing the sea on fragile boats. In Strasbourg, the Vice President of the Catalan Government, Joana Ortega, invited the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, as well as those of Sicily, Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur and Western Greece, Rosario Crocetta, Michel Vauzelle and Apostolos Katsifaras, and Lampedusa’s Mayor, Giusi Nicolini, to attend the summit.