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refugee minors

Greece’s Alternate Migration and Asylum Minister, Giorgos Koumoutsakos on Thursday updated the public on refugee minors and asylum measures during a press briefing.

Koumoutsakos said that Switzerland has expressed an interest in the relocation of 20 unaccompanied refugee minors from Greece, adding that his Swiss counterpart had offered to host the minors permanently, bringing the total of countries interested in receiving unaccompanied refugee minors to eleven.

The Minister said nine children from Lesvos, one from Samos and two from Chios will arrive in Athens from the islands on Friday and will stay at facilities of the International Migration Organization, where they will undergo all necessary medical tests before leaving Greece.

So far, arrangements are being made for a total of 50 children to be relocated to Germany, while other countries also interested in welcoming children include Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, France, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Serbia.

Koumoutsakos also spoke of the suspension of processing asylum requests for a month, he said it was prompted by an influx of migrants at the borders with Evros instigated by Turkey. “We are now returning to the status quo ante,” he said, and said those who managed to cross into Greece in March may also apply for asylum.

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