24-hour turnaround for asylum applications

Notis Mitarachi

Notis Mitarachi

Greece’s Migration and Asylum Minister, Notis Mitarachi announced that asylum applications will be processed within 24 hours.

Mitarachi made the claim during a media interview on Saturday clarifying that according to the first figures from the asylum services, the new decisions are reached within 24 days at first degree adding that the aim is the stay on the islands to be under six months.

During a meeting on Sunday at the New Democracy (ND) headquarters, he sent a message of unity to New Democracy cadres on the management of the migration/refugees issue.

“We are addressing the crisis with unity; we are all on the same side of the table. The central government, the regional governments, the local governments, we are all facing a common problem,” he said.

The government has seven priorities, he explained, which are the strengthening of the borders protection, the acceleration of the asylum procedures, the increase of returns, the operation of closed and controlled hosting facilities, the effective control of the NGOs, the internalisation of the crisis and the support of the local communities.

In this context, the minister announced that an improved draft law on the further acceleration of the asylum procedures and of the returns will be tabled in parliament in the following weeks.

“We are facing a crisis, a crisis that we will not allow the islands to bear the whole burden. A crisis that must be resolved at European and international level,” he said.

Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chryssohoidis, the general secretary for Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias, the general secretary of the Migration Ministry Patrokolos Georgiadis and the ministry’s special secretary Manos Logothetis also spoke at the event.