Migration service to be set up to clinch aid
Thousands of migrants unable to leave Kos due to ferry ticket shortage
Following talks yesterday between European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos and Alternate Minister for Immigration Policy Tasia Christodoulopoulou, a ministerial decision is to be drafted that would allow the immediate creation of an immigration service which will in turn unlock crucial European Union funding.
Government officials are said to have emphasized the need for immediate funding to deal with a rising tide of immigrants arriving on islands in the eastern Aegean from Turkey. Kathimerini understands that Athens lodged an appeal for emergency funding with Brussels two weeks ago and is awaiting approval. Sources told Kathimerini the request will be considered.
Meanwhile the government must set up the agency. A venue has been found, on Vouliagmenis Avenue, sources said, and the next step is for 35 employees to be recruited.
Of 470 million euros allocated to Greece in EU funding for migration, a tranche of around 30 million is likely to be disbursed initially.
A discussion is under way about where to accommodate thousands of immigrants arriving on the islands and then the mainland.
The government has chartered a ferry that is to dock at Kos in the coming days, offering temporary accommodation for hundreds of the migrants there. The process of identifying the migrants, and issuing them with documents, continued at an old soccer stadium.