Mohammed Farid Eskandari and his  wife Rooya Golami

By Andie Ayala

ATHENS, Greece –– Mohammed Farid Eskandari watered his flower garden while his wife Rooya Golami peeked through the front door. Out front were a pink bicycle and bright red slippers belonging to one of their four daughters.

But this was not the family’s house. It was a prefab metal container to which Greek authorities temporarily assigned the Afghan family when they arrived at the Schisto refugee camp 18 months earlier.

Schisto opened near Athens in February 2016,  after the European Union demanded that the Greek government establish more relocation centers. Because most of the refugees at Schisto are from Afghanistan, it is difficult for them to win certification as asylum seekers, according to Kostas Asinakopolou, one of the federal employees who helps run the camp.

That wrinkle means that many of the migrants who arrived at the so-called relocation camp have remained, instead of quickly heading to northern Europe, as envisioned.


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