EU envoy sees 'clear progress' on immigration, asylum

European Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom on Tuesday expressed satisfaction at the “clear progress” made by Greece in the areas of migration and asylum while Development Minister Nikos Dendias indicated that he would seek to channel EU structural funding toward tackling the challenges created by increased migration flows.

Malmstrom, who met on Tuesday with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Public Order Minister Vassilis Kikilias, appeared to be impressed following her tour of a new migrant reception center on the northeastern Aegean island of Lesvos the day before, referring to “a good example of EU-Greek cooperation” in a posting on her Twitter account.

The commissioner, who noted that the two-day trip was her 12th official visit to Greece, also met with Dendias, who was public order minister before he assumed the Development Ministry portfolio. In a statement after their meeting, Dendias said he was “very happy” that conditions on Lesvos had met with Malmstrom’s approval, noting that the previous state of affairs on the island, which is a popular crossing for would-be migrants, had been “shameful, to say the least.” He said the new center on Lesvos should serve as an example.