"Interview of the Director of the First Reception Service to the ANA-MPA" 


The Director of the First Reception Service of the Ministry of Public Order and Citizen Protection, Mr. Panagiotis Nikas, granted an all- inclusive interview to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA).

According to Mr. Nikas, in two months period, the building premises will be ready and the operation of the First Reception Service will commence for the immigrants and the refugees at Moria, Lesvosisland, with 180 persons capacity.  

The director , clarified to the ANA.MPA according to his speech during a conference organized in Thessalonica from Kalliopi Koufa Foundation, under the topic “Refugees and asylum: from theory to practice”, that at Moria  at the moment, a mobile unit of the First Reception Service operates. 

"Because there are complaints for the supposedly operation of the F.R.S., I would like to make clear that the F.R.C has not begun its standard operation as there are missing construction works to the building and our bracket that is on the island, is at a position of reception and referring accordingly the immigrants” pointed out, to an ANA-MPA interview, Mr. Nikas.  

Furthermore, the Director expressed his impression from "the active society of the citizens of Lesvos island, that warmly corresponds and tries to cover all the needs of the immigrants" and he stressed the belief that with the F.R.C. operation, the mistrust of the people will end and will be convinced that with this organized, institutionally, way the whole situation will be improved.  It is recalled that the First Reception Service for immigrants and refugees mission is the reception of the immigrants that are arrested because of illegally entrance or residency in Greece, under conditions that ensure the humane dignity and their rights. This reception besides of the ensuring of the immediate living conditions of the immigrants, includes some important procedures such as the identification verification, their recording, the medical examination and the psychosocial support, the consultancy for their rights and their obligations and the care for persons that belong to vulnerable groups, such as the unaccompanied children and victims of torture. 

Of particular importance, according Mr. Nikas, is the people-focused dimension that the F.R.C. have, something that have been made clear to the first Center that begun its trial operation in March of 2013, at Fylakio, Orestiada.  

" There were accommodated 898 persons in total, with an average of residence, for most of them, from 1 day to 15 days, while till 25 days which constitutes also the limit, reside particularly persons that are vulnerable groups members in order for them to find an accommodation structure’’, the Director also clarified.  

During the description of the situation at F.R.C. at Orestiada, Mr. Nikas pointed out that the staff are members of Non Governmental Organizations, the immigrants can move freely to the Center, to go the courtyard whenever they wish so, to have a bath, to have their personal belongings and their mobile phones and, mainly, to have a thorough consultancy regarding their situation and their rights.

"They are subjects of medical examinations and there is an immediate response to health problems, there are clothes’, shoes and personal hygiene articles provision, they can also address to a psychologist, and the most important is to be consulted, with the help of interpreters, for their possible options. If they have relevants to other countries, we help them to the family reunification process or if they wish to voluntary go back to their home country, we get into contact with the International Organization for Migration (IOM)” pointed out, adding, however, that many refugees from Syria and Afghanistan avoid to submit a request for asylum, choosing to leave Greece and to direct to other European countries.   "The most of the immigrants are confused and are facing various psychological problems since they have made a long and onerous voyage from war-affected areas. The human traffickers, on the other hand, embellish the situation in Greece, while when they leave them to the border they do not even know to which geographical place of our country they are" explained. Apart form Fylakio at Orestiada and Moria at Lesvos island, during 2014 will be established a FirstReceptionCenterto Attica as well. At the same time, two mobile units of the service are since summer to Lesvos and Samos island after the return of the migration flow from the Aegean.

“We hope- pointed out Mr. Nikas- to lift the reservations from the operation of the Centers and we are always willing to explain the way we are working. We believe that is essential the human-focused dimension of the Centers, we believe in it and it is feasible. Personally, I will not forget the message of a person from Morocco, that decided to go back but he wrote to us an electronically mail and he mentioned that “with my return I will have with me the smile of the persons that I met there…” .