Greece’s Alternate Citizen Protection Minister for Migration Policy, George Koumoutsakos called for more effective implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement in particular the dismantling trafficking networks operating in Turkey.
Koumoutsakos made the comments during an interview on Friday with the BBC where he highlighted the challenges faced by Greece as a result of increased migration flows.
During the interview, the Minister mentioned the policies planned by the government in response to the migration crisis but stressed the need for stricter surveillance of the Turkish shore and a more effective policy of returns from Greece.
Koumoutsakos accused the Tsipras government of having left a “closed” system of migration-refugee inflows without the corresponding outflows and “an extremely problematic situation on the islands and on the mainland”. This was then compounded by a further increase in migration flows due to broader geopolitical developments, he added.
He outlined initiatives being prepared by Greece on a European level for a more effective returns mechanism and on a national level to speed up examination of asylum applications.
The Minister also called for active solidarity on a European level with a fairer redistribution of refugee and migrant flows, noting that responsibility for the specific issue was shared by all EU member-states.