Mouza­las: Few mi­grants to re­turn

Mi­gra­tion min­is­ter in­sists small number of peo­ple will be sent back to Greece

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Mi­gra­tion Pol­icy Min­is­ter Yiannis Mouza­las in­sisted yes­ter­day that only a few mi­grants would be sent back to Greece from other Euro­pean Union mem­ber-states now that the de­ci­sion has been taken to re­ac­ti­vate the Dublin agree­ment. “It is some­thing that I have been say­ing for the last four months,” he told Skai TV.

“We are go­ing to im­ple­ment the Dublin agree­ment sym­bol­i­cally, which means that the number [be­ing re­turned] will be very small, a few dozen peo­ple over the next few months.” Nev­er­the­less, New Democ­racy ac­cused Mouza­las of try­ing to present an “idyl­lic im­age” of the sit­u­a­tion in Greece re­gard­ing refugees.

“Un­for­tu­nately, his claims founder on the un­pleas­ant truth be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced by the res­i­dents of is­lands and refugees and mi­grants at re­cep­tion cen­ters,” added the con­ser­va­tives, who ac­cused the gov­ern­ment of not be­ing able to man­age the sit­u­a­tion. “The sit­u­a­tion on the is­lands is still dif­fi­cult but it is un­der con­trol on the main­land,” said Mouza­las, adding that some of the refugees would stay in Greece per­ma­nently.

“We are start­ing the process of as­sim­i­la­tion, which is dif­fi­cult but we will suc­ceed,” he added.

Un­der the EU’s Dublin reg­u­la­tions, would-be refugees must file for asy­lum in the first mem­ber state of the bloc they en­ter. If they have trav­eled on to other EU na­tions, they must be re­turned to their first port of call. The re­quire­ment was halted for Greece in 2011.

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