Greece re-establishes Ministry of Migration and Asylum

Mitarakis and Koumoutsakos

Mitarakis and Koumoutsakos

The establishment of a new Ministry of Migration and Asylum was announced on Wednesday by government spokesman Stelios Petsas.

The government’s decision came just six months after it had scrapped the ministry.

The new ministry is led by Notis Mitarakis, who until now served as Deputy Minister of Labor, while Gorges Koumoutsakos who served as Deputy Minister of Citizen Protection, is the Deputy Minister.

In his opening remarks during the swearing-in ceremony, Mitarakis stated that their  "basic obligation is to understand the emotions of the world and at the same time to conduct a balanced immigration policy based on the laws of the country. We aim for the right policy agreed in the past few months to be implemented quickly. And the re-establishment of the ministry will help speed up implementation of the agreements."

Koumoutsakos also noted that "the battle is fought at home and abroad. The international dimension of immigration is also very important and this is the area in which I will exercise all my responsibilities."

The decision was made amid a constant increase in migrant flows, which the asylum application system could not keep up with.

Opposition leader Alexis Tsipras criticised Mitsotakis' for scrapping the ministry, which had been established by his government, tweeting “I congratulate Mr Mitsotakis who only needed six months and seven days to realise the mess he created in the refugee issue... to abolish the Ministry of Migration in the country with the largest refugees and migrants flows in all over Europe.”