An operation to relocate migrants living in Turin's former Olympic village. Refugees and migrants have been living in the area for years. Photo: ANSA
An operation to relocate migrants living in Turin's former Olympic village. Refugees and migrants have been living in the area for years. Photo: ANSA

The third phase of a project to relocate refugees and migrants living in Turin's former Olympic village (MOI) was completed this week. A total of 134 migrants who lived in a building inside the village were relocated on Monday as part of the operation. ''The best way to solve the social emergency is to respect people and their needs'', said Turin Mayor Chiara Appendino.

A project to relocate refugees and migrants living in the ex 2006 Olympic village (MOI) in Turin continued this week. The project vies to gradually move migrants from the former Olympic venue and help them integrate thanks to the cooperation between the prefecture, the police department and municipality, together with the local dioceses, the foundation Compagnia di San Paolo and the Piedmont region. 


134 foreigners evacuated from 'ex MOI' 

A total of 134 foreigners - including 15 families with 17 children and seven women living alone - were taken by bus to centers managed by cooperatives in charge of the project. Interior Minister Matteo Salvini praised the project for promoting ''security and legality." The interior ministry has invested 800,000 euros to clear the area by 2020. 

Turin Welfare Commissioner Sonia Schellino said two buildings in the ex Olympic village still need to be cleared. She said local administrators still have no idea on the ''number and type of people living there." Local administrators are planning to evacuate more migrants in the summer and in November this year in order to completely clear the area. 

Mayor hails 'model for entire country' 

The Turin mayor said that ''the best way to solve a social emergency is to respect people and their needs." ''We are moving forward in the hope that this model can set the example for the whole country," Appendino said. The operation on Monday was the fourth since the start of the mayor's administration in 2016. 

Economy Undersecretary Laura Castelli, a member of Appendino's 5-Star Movement (M5S) and a Turin native, said the project showed ''it is possible to do things by respecting the rights of the most vulnerable and the law." 

Fabrizio Ricca, the speaker of the anti-migrant League in Turin's municipal council, hailed the project as a political victory saying the League has delivered on its pledge for change ''on the MOI dossier." 

Abdallah, a 30-year-old from Sudan known among foreigners at the former Olympic venue as 'the professor' said he lived there for eight years. ''I was looking for a different future, now I hope to obtain it," he said.
 

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