Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas on Friday sought to allay concerns about rising migrant arrivals following talks with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, noting that the numbers are manageable and Turkey appears to be honoring its agreement with the European Union.
“We have a daily average of 80-100 people and that has roughly been the average since the beginning of the agreement,” Mouzalas said, referring to a pact signed between Ankara and the EU in March to curb migrant smuggling in the Aegean.
Talk of a big increase in arrivals and Turkey breaking the pact “is wrong and creates a sense of panic which we do not need,” he said.
In order to decongest reception centers on the islands of the eastern Aegean, authorities have already begun transferring migrants to the mainland, the minister said.
At the end of the summer, another 2,000 are to be moved to new centers on Crete.
On Thursday, 147 migrants arrived on the islands.