Authorities are concerned about rising pressure on reception centers for migrants on the islands and on the mainland amid an uptick in arrivals from Turkey.
In the first week of July alone, some 1,000 migrants arrived on the islands of the eastern Aegean, which are currently hosting 17,924 asylum seekers. Transfers of migrants deemed “vulnerable” such as unaccompanied minors, the elderly and pregnant women, are continuing but there are worries as state facilities on the mainland are also close to capacity.
In comments on Tuesday at a conference by The Economist being held near Athens, Alternate Migration Policy Minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos said “the solution” was to show respect for both human rights and democratic principles, while also ensuring security.
Koumoutsakis was briefed by representatives of the United Nations refugee agency and the International Organization for Migration ahead of today’s EU summit in Helsinki on migration.