The migrants’ camp will cost 16m euros, the EU is paying

The Ministry of the Interior will dislocate the Reception Center in Gazi Baba and will build a new one near the Bardovci settlement in Skopje. It has no connection to the homeless settlement to be built near Vizbegovo near Skopje. None of these two was a refugee camp as the public have speculated for months, assured the government.

According to the documents that Nezavisen/Independent newspaper received, the construction of the new center near Bardovci will cost 16m euros. European partners will cover 14,570,000, and the rest will be paid by the government. The construction of a modern reception center for illegal migrants will be in line with EU standards and the protection of migrants’ rights.

“This activity involves the preparation of complete technical documentation and the implementation of the necessary public procurement procedures, the provision of all necessary permissions by the user, as well as supervision over the construction. Access for disabled in the premises must be provided. To define all the equipment that should be procured from the Center for the smooth operation and development of the tender documentation. The preparation of standard operational processes for the Center for Reciprocity for Illegal Migrants, for the treatment of refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants with a special focus on women, children, disabled persons and other vulnerable groups of migrants is important. To train the management of the center and reception center staff in accordance with international standards,” the letter said.

Considering that the Reception Center in Gazi Baba has so far been under the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Interior is still in charge of the implementation of the project. Although the pressure in the public is increasing that it is a controversial refugee camp that is going to be opened on Macedonian territory, and in which fifty thousand people should be accepted, yesterday the government reassured yet again that such a thing would not be built.

“Let’s look at the terms. The data you received clearly says that it is a Center for Illegal Migrants, not for refugees from the war zones. So far, they have been accommodated in Gazi Baba, where there were no basic conditions for stay. We will now build a new one, where migrants, who, among other things, will seek asylum will also receive accommodation according to standards,” the government told Nezavisen/Independent.

During the past period, various documents circulating in different media circulated with approved plots, funds, cadastral changes, the Official Gazette said, where it is clearly stated that they are going to build camps. Prime Minister Zoran Zaev persistently denies this, just a few days ago he said that Macedonia can not afford refugee camps, nor would they want to stay in our country. Earlier, the Minister of Labor and Social Policy, Mila Carovska, claimed that a settlement for homeless people who until recently lived under Kale will be built in the Reception Center in Vizbegovo. The Municipality of Karpos also stated that the urban development plans for Bardovci do not provide an Reception Center for Foreigners.

“Mila Carovska has a problem with the reality, she says that the state urban planning documentation says Reception Center for Foreigners, and not for homeless people”, retaliated by VMRO-DPMNE.

The Reception Center of Gazi Baba has so far been a transit station for travelers from around the world who arrived in Macedonia without personal documents. It has a capacity for accommodating 200 people. There were also victims of trafficking, even “singers” from catering facilities in Polog. The Ombudsman has repeatedly indicated that the conditions there were miserable. At the moment there are a dozen people staying at the facility.

Goran Adamovski