May­ors an­nounce EU migrant aid

Back from Brus­sels, is­land of­fi­cials say 50 mil­lion eu­ros pledged to help cri­sis

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The may­ors of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros and Kos – the five eastern Aegean is­lands worst hit by the refugee cri­sis – se­cured a Euro­pean Union pledge of 50 mil­lion eu­ros in emer­gency as­sis­tance dur­ing their re­cent trip to Brus­sels, they told re­porters in Athens yes­ter­day.

The of­fi­cials held a press con­fer­ence on their re­turn from the Bel­gian cap­i­tal, where they met with Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Pres- ident Jean-Claude Junker, com­mis­sion­ers for mi­gra­tion Dim­i­tiris Avramopou­los and hu­man­i­tar­ian aid Chris­tos Stylian­ides, chief spokesman Mar­gari­tis Schi­nas and other high-rank­ing of­fi­cials.

They said that the 50 mil­lion eu­ros will be dis­trib­uted equally be­tween the five is­lands to help them im­ple­ment mea­sures com­bat­ing the ef­fects of over­crowded camps and new ar­rivals.

The may­ors added that they are also ex­pect­ing a visit from Re­gional Pol­icy Com­mis­sioner Co­rina Cretu, while Avramopou­los is also ex­pected to re­turn to Lesvos – where the prob­lems at the Mo­ria camp are par­tic­u­larly acute – on March 16 with Greece’s mi­gra­tion min­is­ter, Yian­nis Mouza­las, who is also in Brus­sels.

In a re­lated de­vel­op­ment, the Mi­gra­tion Min­istry yes­ter­day re- sponded to re­ports crit­i­ciz­ing a nearly 40 per­cent pay rise granted to the di­rec­tor of its Re­cep­tion and Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Ser­vice.

In a state­ment fol­low­ing a re­port in Eleft­heros Ty­pos say­ing that the ser­vice’s di­rec­tor was granted a hike in her monthly salary from 2,604 to 3,950 eu­ros on Fe­bru­ary 23, the min­istry said the in­crease was a cor­rec­tion of a pre­vi­ous er­ror.

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