The government of Cyprus has called out for help from the European Union (EU) after claiming that it has been overwhelmed by an influx of illegal migrants and asylum seekers.
Government spokesman Viktor Papadopoulos commented on the situation at a news briefing, saying: “Cyprus is a country which is at the receiving end of the biggest inflows as a percentage of its population, with the risk of demographic changes.”
“The capability of the Republic of Cyprus in accommodating these people has been exhausted,” he warned, in comments reported by Greek newspaper I Kathimerini.
Members of the Cypriot government say that the level of asylum seekers is so high it may equal as much as 4 per cent of the island nation’s population.
According to I Kathimerini, many of the migrants enter the country come from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus — a defacto unrecognised by any state except Turkey, which established it after invading and occupying the north of the country in 1974.
The Cypriot government have previously accused Turkey of trafficking migrants into Cyprus — and through it the European Union, of which it is a member — via their puppet state intentionally.
Mediterranean Nations Demand Migrant Distribution Across EU https://t.co/Y4qidsWYJn
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 20, 2021
In an effort to stem the number of migrants arriving in the country, Cyprus made a move to begin laying down razor wire earlier this month along the border with the occupied north in a buffer zone controlled by the United Nations.
The move was met with criticism from opposition parties. Still, the government defended its actions, saying they were in line with European Union obligations and that the UN and other authorities had been notified previously.
Last week, Cyprus was among the five Mediterranean countries known as the MED 5 which reached a unified agreement on illegal migration.
Ministers from Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain demanded that EU member-states forge better co-operative ties with African and Asian countries where migrants originate, that more member-states take in a share of the newly arriving migrants, and that the EU set up a centralised repatriation mechanism.
Cypriot authorities have expressed alarm over the arrival of four boats carrying Syrian and Lebanese migrants in waters off the east Mediterranean island nation’s coastline within a 48-hour span. https://t.co/R4H4FW9riz
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 7, 2020