EC, Greece have ‘game plan’ for mi­grant in­flux

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

As thou­sands of un­doc­u­mented mi­grants and refugees con­tinue to ar­rive on the is­lands of the eastern Aegean, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sioner for Mi­gra­tion and Home Af­fairs Dim­itris Avramopou­los has in­di­cated that Greek and Euro­pean author­i­ties have a “game plan” to tackle the mount­ing cri­sis.

Avramopou­los, who met with sev­eral min­is­ters dur­ing a visit to Athens last week, told re­porters in Brus­sels on Fri­day that they have drafted “a game plan... a plan for how we can work to­gether to ad­dress a prob­lem that is not Greek, a prob­lem that is Euro­pean.”

The com­mis­sioner wel­comed a pledge by Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras to ac­cel­er­ate ef­forts to set up a ser­vice for the man­age­ment of Euro­pean Union sub­si­dies. Once the ser­vice is up and run­ning “money can start flow­ing im­me­di­ately,” he said, adding that an ini­tial in­stall­ment of 30 mil­lion eu­ros out of the 474 mil­lion eu­ros set aside for Greece would be dis­bursed first.

In the mean­time, Avramopou­los, said the Com­mis­sion is “fast-track­ing” a Greek re­quest for 2.74 mil­lion eu­ros in emer­gency fund­ing to bol­ster ef­forts by lo­cal author­i­ties to deal with an in­flux of mi­grants on Aegean is­lands.

The sit­u­a­tion on Kos and Lesvos re­mains par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult. A large ferry that docked at the main port of Kos on Satur­day was to pro­vide tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion to hun­dreds of mi­grants on the is­land.

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