European Union Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Ylva Johansson on Monday acknowledged that “there are limits to people’s patience and these have been exceeded” on the Aegean islands on the frontline of the migration crisis.
“We must make migration a European issue,” she said during an inspection with Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis of new refugee and migrant facilities being built on the eastern Aegean islands of Samos and Lesvos.
In a tweet following an earlier meeting with local authority representatives, Johansson spoke of the need to “Europeanize and help the situation.” The commissioner also pledged 275 million euros for the new camps on the Greek islands.
Johansson went on to call on Turkey to take back more refugees whose asylum claims have been rejected by Greece, as Ankara has pledged to do under the terms of the 2016 migration agreement with the EU.
“I call on Turkey to urgently resume the return of migrants from Greece,” the EU home affairs commissioner was quoted by to Agence France-Presse as saying at a press conference on Lesvos, which hosts more than 8,000 asylum seekers.