Around 2,000 people gathered across central Athens on Saturday to mark World Refugee Day and protest the Greek government's policies forcing migrants out of their accommodations.
Members of anti-racist groups, joined by refugees from migrant camps, marched holding banners reading "No refugee homeless, persecuted, jailed" and chanting slogans against evictions of refugees from temporary accommodation apartments.
Thousands face homelessness in the country's refugee relocation scheme as Greek authorities plan to move more than 11,000 people to make room for other asylum seekers currently living in dismal island camps.
Refugees used to be able to keep their accommodation for up to six months after receiving protected status.
The new conservative government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has reduced this period to just a month.
The government insists that it is doing everything necessary "to assure a smooth transition for those who leave their lodgings."
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has voiced its concern, however, stressing that many of the refugees do not have effective access to social benefits and support.
In a message for World Refugee Day, the Ministry for Migration and Asylum said Greece has found itself "at the center of the migration crisis bearing a disproportionate burden."
Government officials have repeatedly said Greece must become a less attractive destination for asylum seekers.
The continued presence of more than 32,000 asylum seekers on the islands – over five times the intended capacity of shelters there – has caused major friction with local communities who demand their immediate removal.
An operation in February to build new camps on the islands of Lesbos and Chios had to be abandoned due to violent protests.
Rights groups have repeatedly criticized unhygienic and unsafe living conditions in existing camps.
Greece is also accused of illegal pushbacks by its forces at its sea and land borders, which according to reports had increased since March.
UNHCR said that although around 3,000 asylum seekers arrived in Greece by land and sea since the start of March, the figure was much lower than over previous months.
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