Athens grateful for increase in EU funding for migration crisis

The doubling of aid to Mediterranean countries to help with the rise in the number of undocumented migrants is one of the main things Greece can take away from Thursday’s European Union leaders’ summit on the migration crisis, according to Alternate Minister for Migration Policy Tasia Christodoulopoulou.

“We have secured generous funding for all the services that relate to search and rescue, reception, asylum and hosting,” she said on Friday. “It is now up to us to make the necessary legislative changes so that we can absorb these EU funds immediately.”

The EU has decided to double aide to Greece, Italy and Malta to 50 million euros. The leaders also agreed to triple the amount spent on patrolling the EU’s borders to 9 million euros a month.

The minister suggested the government had won a battle to ensure that the arrival of migrants on Greek shores is seen as a European problem. “The humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean is not all about the hundreds who die but also the thousands of war refugees who seek shelter in Greece,” she said.

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