The newly built Multi-Purpose Reception and Identification centre on Samos - Zervou officially opened its doors on 18 September 2021.
During the inauguration ceremony, Beate Gminder from the European Commission welcomed the improved conditions for a dignified reception of migrants, without overcrowding, and enabling a fair and efficient treatment of asylum requests, as well as benefiting local communities. Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarachi thanked the European Commission: “for the financing of this great step of relief for fellow citizens on Samos and soon on other islands, and for its general support in this turning of page for Greece, that was needed so much in the islands”.
Transfer of residents to the new centre
The transfer of 270 residents from the former reception centre in Vathy to the new centre in Zervou started on 20 September 2021, and was finalised on 22 September 2021. Necessary health measures were taken during the transfer, and each person on the transfer list was tested for COVID-19. No positive cases were detected.
While bus coaches transferred people from Vathy to Zervou centre, staff from the Reception and Identification Service, helped by the nongovernmental organisation Eurorelief, ensured their smooth transition by organising transfer preparations and accommodation into the new centre.
The new Samos multipurpose reception and identification centre
All offices of the services provided in the Vathy reception centre are now transferred to the new multi-purpose reception and identification centre in Zervou. The new centre consists of two separate sections:
- a main, controlled area with an entry/exit system where residents and staff can enter by using a personal access card; and
- a separate, closed area, with the pre-removal section.
The site has a modern security system and is fenced to ensure security and safety for the residents and personnel. The new facilities and services will ensure adequate living conditions for all groups of residents and dignified reception conditions.
In the medical area, new PCR testing machines, donated by Pentabase, arrived and have already been installed in the centre. Personnel from Denmark will operate the machines and train the staff on how to use them.
While the current numbers of asylum seekers and migrants on the Aegean islands may be low, the new facilities will enable Greece and Europe to be prepared and avoid emergency situations of the past. Efficient and well interconnected registration, asylum, integration and return processes will prevent overcrowding and long stays, in line with EU asylum standards.
More pictures from the inauguration ceremony and the new reception centre in Zervou, Samos are found in the picture gallery
- Publication date
- 28 September 2021