Min­is­ter chides may­ors call­ing for mi­gra­tion ac­tion

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

As the Union of Greek Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties (KEDE) yesterday called on the gov­ern­ment to take ac­tion to deal with an un­prece­dented wave of mass mi­gra­tion through Greece, Al­ter­nate Min­is­ter for Immigration Pol­icy Ta­sia Christodoulopoulou ac­cused mu­nic­i­pal and re­gional author­i­ties of not do­ing their share.

KEDE chief Gior­gos Pa­toulis ac­cused the gov­ern­ment of fail­ing to present a com­pre­hen­sive plan for man­ag­ing the in­flux of hun­dreds of thou­sands of refugees and mi­grants, mainly from the Mid­dle East, warn­ing that de­lays in im­ple­ment­ing Euro­pean Union mea­sures may lead to hefty fines.

“There is no magic wand that will cre­ate the in­fra­struc­ture or make the mi­grants dis­ap­pear,” Christodoulopoulou told a meet­ing of KEDE and other state of­fi­cials yesterday. She added that with the ex­cep­tion of the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties of Athens and Lesvos – one of the is­lands where large num­bers of ar­rivals are land­ing – no other re­gional or mu­nic­i­pal author­i­ties have of­fered fa­cil­i­ties for pro­cess­ing and hous­ing ar­rivals.

The out­go­ing min­is­ter de­fended the gov­ern­ment’s lack of progress, say­ing that she is ex­pect­ing 30 mil­lion eu­ros in EU fund­ing to be re­leased next week which will go to­ward build­ing re­cep­tion cen­ters on the is­lands of Kos, Leros and Lesvos. Her com­ment came af­ter an ear­lier state­ment by Euro­pean Com­mis­sion spokes­woman Natasha Ber­taud, who said that the Com­mis­sion is wait­ing for Greece to es­tab­lish an agency to man­age the funds.

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