Greek government plan to decongest eastern Aegean islands from rising migrant flows

The plan is to clear the camp in Moria of Lesvos after the fire and the rioting on Sunday that left one dead and more than 10 injured.

The “Island of Rhodes” ferry sailed into the port of Piraeus on Tuesday morning with 215 refugees and immigrants from the camp in Moria. The ship sailed shortly after 6:00 in the morning to Piraeus, as broadcast by SKAI radio.

Immigrants are expected to be taken by bus to inland accommodation structures such as Corinth, Ioannina and Schistos, according to SKAI. Transfers of refugees and immigrants from Moria are expected to continue next year as part of the camp’s disassembly plan, as the cabinet decided on Monday after the tragic events in Lesvos.

The bottlenecks of Moria

It is recalled that it is the third relief operation in Moria, as 350 refugees and immigrants left last Friday and another 110 last Wednesday. On Sunday, another 400 people are expected to depart.

However, arrivals of refugees and immigrants to the northern Aegean islands remain high. The weekend arrivals:

-217 refugees and migrants in Lesvos
-43 refugees and migrants in Chios
-114 refugees and migrants in Samos

The government’s plan for the immigration and new asylum system

Developments in the issue of migration and refugee issues were raised by the government during a cabinet meeting under PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday. The bill of the Ministry of Protection of Citizenship to tighten asylum coming to Parliament next week was also on the table.
According to government spokesman Stelios Petsas, there is a common belief that based on the nationality of those arriving in the country, this is a migration problem rather than a refugee problem. To address the problem it was decided:

-Improve border guard by increasing patrols.
-Construction of closed pre-departure centers for those who have entered Greece illegally and are not entitled to asylum or their application is rejected.
-Increase returns to 10,000 by the end of 2020.
-Creating a “safe country” list to return those who entered Greece illegally.
-Controlling the islands of the eastern Aegean by inland transport.
-Presentation of the problem abroad with a number of actions, including the visit of George Koumoutsakos to Turkey on October 2-3 for talks with his Turkish counterpart Mr. Soyiu, as well as the visit of the German and French interior ministers to Turkey and Greece within the week.

With regard to the draft law on speeding up and tightening asylum application procedures, the objectives are:

– Correcting the system that is unable to address issues such as increased flows and the closed Balkan corridor to Europe.
– Adopt rules in a clear and specific way that will end anarchy on a number of issues, such as with aliens, structures, services, the examination process.
– Eliminate the consequences that have led to an unspecified number of foreigners who are not identified and are not returned to their countries of origin.
-Configuration of an asylum system with features such as rigorous, fair, compact, structured, designed under extreme conditions.