Koumoutsakos to BBC: Effective implementation of EU-Turkey Statement needed

Koumoutsakos to BBC: Effective implementation of EU-Turkey Statement needed

The challenges faced by Greece as a result of increased migration flows and the policies planned by the government in response were outlined by Alternate Citizen Protection Minister for Migration Policy George Koumoutsakos in an interview with BBC radio, according to a press release on Friday.

He especially noted the importance of effective implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement, especially with respect to dismantling trafficking networks operating in Turkey, stricter surveillance of the Turkish shore and a more effective policy of returns from Greece.

Koumoutsakos noted that the previous government had left a “closed” system of migration-refugee inflows without the corresponding outflows and “an extremely problematic situation on the islands and on the mainland”. This was then compounded by a further increase in migration flows due to broader geopolitical developments, he added.

He outlined initiatives being prepared by Greece on a European level for a more effective returns mechanism and on a national level to speed up examination of asylum applications.

The minister also called for active solidarity on a European level with a fairer redistribution of refugee and migrant flows, noting that responsibility for the specific issue was shared by all EU member-states.