Greece Tightens Screws On Migrants
Greece intends to limit the asylum period for refugees to three years, said Minister of Migration and Asylum Panagiotis Mitarakis in an interview with the newspaper Vima. And if the conditions in the country where the refugee came from have changed, then the status will not be extended. Thus, the new conservative government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis keeps tightening asylum and residence procedures for forced migrants.
Mitarakis explains this position by saying that « it is difficult to integrate different groups of the population. » According to him, Greece has already granted asylum to about 40 thousand people since the beginning of the crisis in 2015. Another 87,000 asylum applications are pending. 36,000 petitioners now remain in crowded camps on five islands in the Aegean Sea, which provides for 6,200 people. Humanitarian organizations constantly criticize Greece for the overpopulation of the camps; at the same time it causes indignation of the inhabitants of the islands.
Greece remains the European country where the most refugees arrive. Earlier, the Greek government announced the use of a floating barrier in the Aegean to stop ships with migrants, for which it also received criticism from human rights defenders. In March-April, the EU should consider repatriation of persons whose applications for refugee status were rejected, the Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum expects.