Greece needs Europe's solidarity in coping with migration crisis, says Minister

Giorgos Koumoutsakos

Giorgos Koumoutsakos

Alternate Migration & Asylum Minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos, paid a visit to the asylum seekers' accommodation facilities in Lesvos on Tuesday with the Minister-President of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet.

There, Koumoutsakos said that the challenge of the migration crisis as both a humanitarian and a security issue "is so great that is surpasses Greece," and needs Europe's solidarity.

Greece has seen fewer migrants and refugees arriving from Turkey due to increased border checks and the coronavirus pandemic, but Turkey is "a difficult and unpredictable neighbour that controls a pool of four million migrants and refugees," Koumoutsakos told Reuters.

The Greek government's strategy on migration, humanitarian aid in the context of Greek-German cooperation, and the geopolitical challenges that affect Greece's management of the crisis, were all discussed with Laschet.

Illegal migratory flows to the Greek islands is down 83% compared to 2019. Tens of thousands of refugees and migrants, including thousands of unaccompanied children, are living in squalid conditions in overcrowded camps on several Greek islands after arriving from the nearby Turkish coast.

The Minister President also visited Mytilene City Hall, where he spoke with mayor Stratis Kitelis, who pointed out that "the people of Mytilene have reached their limits of tolerance and ask Europe and especially Germany for specific support and relief, in the context of the European family."