European officials are calling on Athens to take action by the end of this year ahead of the review and reactivation of the Dublin Regulation, which would lead to EU member-states returning migrants to Greece.
The European Commission on Wednesday asked Athens to improve reception facilities, accelerate the processing of asylum claims and create separate facilities for unaccompanied minors.
European Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said there will be no returns to Greece in the months leading up to the review of the pact, which stipulates that migrants lodge their asylum appeals in the first EU country they enter.
He said the goal remains a “gradual resumption” of migrant transfers to Greece but that “we need to avoid that an unsustainable burden be put on Greece.”
Meanwhile the Commission aims to relocate 30,000 migrants from Greece to other EU countries by the end of next year.
The presense of migrants in Greece has fuelled tensions with protests on Chios and in Rethymno on Wednesday.