Illegal migration flows to Greece significantly dropped in October 2023

migration Migrants looking out of a fishing boat docked in Palaiochora in Crete, Greece on November 22, 2022.

Migration and Asylum Minister Dimitris Kairidis told the Standing Special European Affairs Parliament Committee on Tuesday that there was a significant reduction in migration flows to Greece in October compared to the three previous months.

"We live in a period of declining flows, not increasing. There are no flows from the Evros River. Nobody passes from Evros. The flows in the northern Aegean, in the islands of Samos and Lesvos, have dropped by approximately 70 percent," Kairidis said.

He explained that the reduction of the flows to Greece is due to the Coast Guard's alertness and broader initiatives, such as the cooperation we seek with Turkey."

"Through this cooperation, we will be able to address the problem better," he said, adding, "I strongly believe that we can address legally the illegal migration, that we can address the problem in a European way."

"We do not need to go to extra-institutional and anti-European solutions, and this is the major wager."

Greece will receive another 42 million euros from the EU for two programs.

Greece will receive from the European Union an additional 42.2 million euros in funding for two proposals - the protection of unaccompanied minors in Greece and enforcing electronic surveillance at the borders by police, the Greek Migration and Asylum Ministry said on Monday, following a decision by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, AMNA.

The first proposal, named 'Pyxida', relates to filling in the gaps noted while implementing the National Strategy for Protection of Unaccompanied Migrant Minors in Greece.

It envisages five centres nationally for specialised mental health services with a focus on trauma, specialised legal assistance, targeted services to boost high school retention rates and services for unaccompanied minors who have reached adulthood (aged 18-21) and are not under a protection plan.

Pyxida also includes training and clinical supervision for professionals, chaperones during emergency health and hospitalisation cases, and educational material to help minors deal with violence and gender stereotypes and to promote equality and social engagement.

Pyxida will be included in the Asylum, Migration, and Integration Fund (2021-2027), with 90% co-funding by the European Union.

The second approved proposal is "Optimization of the repercussions of electronic surveillance through enforced communications connections - Boosting the Hellenic Police's ability to supervise land borders".

It will cover the cost of buying 27 incident management mobile centres (MIMC) for land border patrols and surveillance of non-accessible areas.

Of the 27, 20 units will be installed in all-wheel drive (AWD) vans, and the rest in containers that can be transferred and placed in operational border areas.

As part of the Integrated Border Management Fund, this program will be included in the instrument for financial support for border management and visa policy, with 80% co-funding by the European Union.

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