Interview of Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis on OPEN TV, with journalists Akis Pavlopoulos and Dora Koutrokoi (28 November 2019)

from Government of Greece
Published on 28 Nov 2019 View Original

Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis was interviewed on OPEN TV this morning, on “7 O’clock Greek Time,” by journalists Akis Pavlopoulos and Dora Koutrokoi.

Mr. Varvitsiotis referred to the increased migration flows in Greece and presented the government’s plan for decongesting the islands.

According to the Alternate Minister, the structure of the plan consists in better border control, better control on the islands themselves, the opening of pre-departure centres, faster returns of migrants, and sharing of the burden of hosting refugees eligible for asylum and hosting in the country. “This plan cannot be implemented à la carte,” he added.

Having highlighted the need for immediate initiation of the returns procedure, he commented that “there is no other way for this to happen but with the operation of closed structures. In other words, the operation of closed pre-departure centres.”

Finally, having pointed to “volatile conditions” and “unprecedented numbers” of migrants, especially in the North Aegean Region, he stressed that, following the recent change in legislation, there is already a visible change in how the matter is being managed, and that the government is looking to a different way of handling migrant flows at sea.