PM to push ef­forts to set up ser­vice for mi­gra­tion

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The gov­ern­ment has yet to set up a ser­vice for the man­age­ment of Euro­pean Union sub­si­dies for tack­ling immigration and asy­lum ap­pli­ca­tions de­spite the ap­proval in Par­lia­ment last month of leg­is­la­tion fore­see­ing the ser­vice, which is a pre­req­ui­site for Greece to con­tinue re­ceiv­ing fund­ing.

De­spite a re­lent­less in­flux of mi­grants, the gov­ern­ment has yet to find a build­ing to house the ser­vice or staff it, Kathimerini has learned. The short­fall was the fo­cus of a re­cent tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion be­tween Euro­pean Com­mis­sioner for Mi­gra­tion and Home Af­fairs Dim­itris Avramopou­los and Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras, Kathimerini un­der­stands. Ac­cord­ing to sources close to Avramopou­los, the two men dis­cussed “the ur­gent need” for the gov­ern­ment to ap­point an au­thor­ity to han­dle EU fund­ing to Greece for immigration and asy­lum. Kathimerini un­der­stands that Tsipras is very wor­ried about the sit­u­a­tion and is said to be plan­ning a cri­sis meet­ing. Gov­ern­ment sources in­di­cate that Al­ter­nate Min­is­ter for Immigration Pol­icy Ta­sia Christodoulopoulou is re­garded as chiefly re­spon­si­ble for the prob­lem. In com­ments to Kathimerini, she wel­comed Tsipras’s in­volve­ment to ac­cel­er­ate the process. She noted that the bill fore­see­ing the cre­ation of the immigration ser­vice was only passed into law last month and that its es­tab­lish­ment in a mat­ter of days is no easy mat­ter.

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