Amid the steady rise in migrant and refugee arrivals in Greece via the Evros land border and the eastern Aegean islands, Migration Policy Minister Dimitris Vitsas has warned of difficult days ahead.
“There is an increase in the flows and we are fully aware of this,” he told Parliament on Tuesday, admitting that “the ministry will have a tough time in the coming period.”
Vitsas said that in April there were a total of 6,632 arrivals – the majority of whom have requested asylum. Of this number, almost 4,000 passed through Evros, while there is speculation that this number could be higher as many cross the border undetected.
Overall the data show that Greece has received 16,478 new asylum seekers in the first four months of the year.
“The main thing is to reduce the flows,” Vitsas said, adding that his ministry is trying to open channels of communication with Turkey so that “it can take measures.”