Authorities are preparing measures to integrate between 25,000-30,000 asylum seekers who are not entitled to relocation under the existing European Union program, Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas has said.
Speaking to Ta Nea newspaper over the weekend, Mouzalas said that a three-pronged scheme is under way to integrate newcomers, involving a new registration process and the issuing of tax identification and social security numbers; school enrolment for children; and access to the local labor market.
Asked about Greece’s recent decision to take back a small number of asylum seekers in line with the EU’s so-called Dublin rules, Mouzalas said that Athens had only accepted returns “from countries who helped us by consenting to up to 17,000 relocations and 7,000 [family] reunions.”
The minister said that a new agreement is currently in the works because the Dublin system is “dead.”
Meanwhile, more than 350 police officers took part in a pre-dawn operation on Saturday at the Moria camp on the Aegean island of Lesvos to transfer an unspecified number of migrants to the pre-deportation center.
These individuals, who have all received a final rejection of their asylum application, will be returned to Turkey.
Moria has been rocked by riots twice in recent weeks in protest at the slow pace of registration and asylum processing for certain nationalities, as well as crowded conditions.