Greece’s Migration and Asylum Minister, Notis Mitarachi and Deputy Minister, Giorgos Koumoutsakos met with SYRIZA party’s Former Ministers Ioannis Mouzalas and Dimitris Vitsas on Thursday, following a request by the main opposition party.
At the two hour meeting which was attended also by Parliamentary group secretary Olga Gerovassili, the current and Former Ministers discussed pressing issues relating to the management of the migration crisis in Greece.
According to sources, the ministers looked into issues such as the congestion at the North Aegean islands’ refugee reception and identification centres, refugee returns, enclosed detention centres, the role of NGOs and Greece’s positions concerning negotiations with EU’s partners on a common European migration policy.
According to ministry sources, participants saw a convergence of opinions on the need to decongest the islands, by transferring refugees into mainland facilities and by increasing refugee’s returns.
Although Mitarachi and Koumoutsakos made no statements after the meeting, Vitsas said they discussed practical issues despite their policy disagreements. “We all know that Greece cannot resolve the migration/refugee issue on its own,” he said, but human rights of both residents and refugees can be served.