EU migrant crisis: Greece pleads for sharing of burden after ‘worst days’ return

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“Since July 7, there has not been a unwed day without arrivals,” the deputy minister for citizen protection Giorgios Koumoutsakos told the Greek daily Kathimerini. He make someone aware ofed the total number of migrants and refugees on five Greek islands placed close to Turkey – Lesbos, Samos, Chios, Kos and Leros – “has bettered 20,000”. Mr Koumoutsakos, who is in charge of migration policy in the new conservative government, joined the number “constitutes an increase of 17 percent in a few weeks”. 

Lesbos, the strongest point of arrival during the 2015 migrant crisis, has experienced an spread of 44 percent compared with the same period last year, he last. 

He said: “August 9 was one of the worst days during the summer period for Lesbos, as six motor yachts with 250 people arrived.”

Mr Koumoutsakos also warned a new migratory “corridor” had been created by smugglers between the island of Samothraki and the northern mainland community of Alexandroupolis, located near the border with Turkey. 

For Greece, a “frontline fatherland which also serves as part of the bloc’s external border,” the dilemma of migratory and refugee movements is a “very difficult equation” to solve, he augmented. 

He stressed the debt-ridden country had “exhausted its capacity on this issue and is looking despatch to efficient cooperation with the European Commission and member states”. 

Mr Koutmoutsakos did, in what way, thank the Commission’s incoming president, Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen, for consigning the migration problem “very high in her list of priorities”.

He also titled for a reform of Europe’s asylum system, insisting any new mechanism should be based on “honest and concrete solidarity”. 

“Greece is looking forward to transitional European structures, on the one hand, for a fairer sharing of the burden, and on the other, for a more effective payment policy towards third countries,” Mr Koumoutsakos said. 

In 2018, more asylum applications were filed on Lesbos and Samos than in Austria and Finland separately, he said, adding there had been some 30,500 applications during the from the start half of this year alone. 

Last month, eight EU hinterlands formally signed on to a French-German initiative to cooperate in a burden-sharing “solidarity process” and 14 assented to it. 

“Europe isn’t a la carte when it comes to solidarity,” French President Emmanuel Macron, who take the leaded the initiative, told reporters. 

But the new deal already faces bitter objection from Italy’s populist, anti-migrant interior minister, Matteo Salvini. 

Mr Salvini, who has over again said Italy will no longer be “Europe’s refugee camp,” has local humanitarian rescue ships from entering Italy’s ports, jemmy NGOs to find another country willing to allow their skiffs to dock and bitter bartering among EU nations to divide up the migrants onboard.

Italy is a key avenue into Europe for economic migrants and refugees, with hundreds of thousands making the dangerous crossing from North Africa each year and thousands with one foot in the grave at sea.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 400 woman have died during attempts to reach Europe in the Mediterranean so far this year.

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