Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarakis has reiterated that his country will not be a gateway for migrants to travel to Western Europe as it was during the 2015 migrant crisis.
“Greece will not accept, as in the period 2015-19, to be the gateway to Europe for illegal migration flows, in violation of Article 31 of the Geneva Convention,” Minister Mitarakis said in the Greek parliament following the deadly terrorist attack in Kabul on Thursday.
He went on to note that the current Grek government, led by the conservative-leaning New Democracy party, has overseen a decrease of illegal migration by 86 per cent in the last twelve months, Greek newspaper Proto Thema reports.
“We have regained control of the migration issue and by extension the international credibility of our country,” Mitarakis said, adding that the number of migrants living in migrant centres has decreased by 77 per cent on the Aegean islands and by 45 per cent on the Greek mainland.
Greece is building border defences able to see at least nine miles into Turkish territory to spot migrants making moves to enter Europe, utilising both cameras and radar technology, ahead of a possible influx from Afghanistan https://t.co/MzrbgNLLZZ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 21, 2021
The minister also spoke on the topic of a new Greek bill that means to clarify issues around removal procedures by amending existing deportation laws.
The amendments aim to address abuse of the asylum process that can lead to backlogs and that slow down the asylum process, as well as revoking protection for those who pose a national security risk or are convicted of serious crimes.
The comments from the minister come just weeks after he declared that Greece would not suffer an Afghanistan-inspired repeat the 2015 migrants crisis, saying: “We cannot have millions of people leaving Afghanistan and coming to the European Union… and certainly not through Greece.”
During a period of less than a year from June 2015 to April 2016, Greece saw over a million migrants enter the country, with a population of just 10 million, illegally, the vast majority arriving on the Aegean islands.
In the wake of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the Greek government has made moves to fortify its northern border with Turkey as well as put the Greek coast guard on alert for possible illegal crossings, which their Turkish neighbours have previously facilitated.
Greece planning "wall in the sea" to block migrant boats as illegal crossings surge https://t.co/BMHKd0QtJc
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 9, 2020