NEWS

EC, Greece have ‘game plan’ for migrant influx

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As thousands of undocumented migrants continue to arrive on the islands of the eastern Aegean, the European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos has indicated that Greek and European authorities have a “game plan” to tackle the mounting crisis.

Avramopoulos, who met with several ministers during a visit to Athens last week, told reporters in Brussels on Friday that they have drafted “a game plan… a plan for how we can work together to address a problem that is not Greek, a problem that is European.”

The commissioner welcomed a pledge by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to accelerate efforts to set up a service for the management of European Union subsidies. Once the service is up and running “money can start flowing immediately,” he said, adding that an initial installment of 30 million euros out of the 474 million euros set aside for Greece would be disbursed first.

In the meantime, Avramopoulos, said the Commission is “fast-tracking” a Greek request for 2.74 million euros in emergency funding to bolster efforts by local authorities to deal with an influx of migrants on Aegean islands.

The situation on Kos and Lesvos remains particularly difficult. A large ferry that docked at the main port of Kos on Saturday was to provide temporary accommodation to hundreds of migrants on the island.