NEWS

PM: Greece requested drafting of backup plan for migration

TAGS: Politics, EU, Migration

Greece called on the European Union to prepare a back-up plan in case the number of migrant and refugee arrivals becomes unmanageable by the country, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said after the end of the summit meeting in Brussels on Friday.

Mitsotakis said he does not want to exaggerate the problem but the request was made to prepare for any unforeseen developments.

“I cannot accept that the EU will be caught unprepared again. I do not believe Turkey will do what it has threatened, that is, open the borders. But we have to be prepared for the worst eventuality so that we do not just react to developments,” he said, adding that currently there os no back-up plan.

"I hope we will never get to this point  of having to ask for anything extra.”

He said EU leaders adopted Greece's proposal that the Union should support countries like Greece which are mostly affected by the rise in migrant and refugee arrivals in the past few months.

Asked about the overcrowding in migrant camps on the islands of the eastern Aegean, he said transferring vulnerable people to the mainland is the only way to deal with the problem and pointed to the new government legislation on asylum which he said aims to increase returns of failed asylum seekers.

European leaders also condemned Turkey's illegal prospecting activity within the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and adopted the decision of the EU foreign ministers' council for sanctions against Turkey, he said.

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