Government sets up new department to exclusively handle migrant returns

*Image credit: Intimenews

Greece’s Migration and Asylum Minister, Notis Mitarachi announced on Sunday the creation of a new section within the ministry which will exclusively manage the return of migrants to their country of origin after it is established that they do not qualify for asylum status.

Mitarachi announced the initiative during a media interview and said the new Directorate of Returns, "will take over all the procedural part" of returning migrants.

The minister also pointed out that the setting up of the Directorate will be included in the organisational chart of the ministry due in February.

According to data provided by the minister, 84 people returned to seven missions in January, five forced and two voluntarily.

The ministry, he said, is systematically monitoring cases pending in Greek administrative courts and the European Court of Human Rights, while its leadership is also aiming at "starting at a European level returns to Afghanistan", adding that "there are areas in Afghanistan that do not justify asylum conditions."