Notis Mitarachis

Greece’s Migration and Asylum Minister, Notis Mitarachis confirmed that migrants who fail to prove they are genuine asylum seekers, will be returned to Turkey.

Mitarachis’ made the comments on Sunday during his visit to the island of Kos where he met with local authorities following last week’s protests over the migrant crisis on the islands.

The Minister met with police authorities and Kos mayor Theodosis Nikitaras, and visited the island’s hotspot where he was briefed on the prevailing situation.

“Yesterday I had the opportunity to present the government’s plan for the reduction of the migrants/refugees flows and the repercussions to the local community to the municipal council. We had a constructive discussion that will continue with the island’s mayor. I visited the reception centre and saw the plans of the new upgraded structure that will, on one hand offer better living conditions and on the other hand will allow us to operate according to the new asylum legislation. Today, we had a migrant boat arrival from Turkey and asked for the implementation, for the first time, of the new legislation.

The migrants/refugees will stay on the island for 25 days. Additionally, I asked from the asylum service to act rapidly and according to the new procedures to separate those people entitled to asylum while the others will be sent, as soon as possible, back to Turkey.

Our country is implementing a balanced migration policy and respects its international obligations but we also have national rules and those migrants or refugees not entitled to asylum will be sent back to Turkey. We believe that this will play a key role in the reduction of the flows,” concluded the Minister.

A.C.