Prime Minister has said he is “proud” of living conditions for refugees on the Greek mainland, although he admitted that “the situation remains difficult” for those stranded on the islands of the eastern Aegean.
Speaking to France’s Le Figaro newspaper on the occasion of his visit to Paris, Tsipras also defended a deal between the European Union and Ankara to stem migrant flows in the Aegean.
“The deal between the EU and Turkey is hard but necessary; it helped put an end to the daily deaths in the Aegean. We have received more than 60,000 refugees on mainland Greece who live in good conditions, with access to health and education. It is something I am proud of,” Tsipras said.
“The situation on the islands remains difficult. There is a large number of migrants and refugees and asylum procedures are time-consuming,” he said.
Greece has seen a surge of migrant arrivals in recent months. With winter fast approaching and migrant reception centers on the Aegean islands reaching breaking point due to overcrowding, 20 human rights groups this week sent a letter to the Greek government calling for immediate action.