EU urges Greece to improve conditions in migrant camps, speed up asylum


The European Commission on Wednesday called for “urgent action” by Greek authorities to improve living conditions in the country's overcrowded migrant camps and expedite the asylum procedure.

The EU welcomed steps taken by the government over the past months to alleviate the pressure on the islands, including a new reception strategy and new asylum measures, however the increase in arrivals “has put strain on an already fraught system,” the Commission said in its latest report on the progress made under the European Agenda on Migration.

“While the EU-Turkey statement continues to deliver concrete results, renewed migratory pressure in Turkey and instability in the wider region continues to cause concern. In view of this, urgent action must be taken to improve reception conditions, increase transfers to mainland Greece from the islands and increase returns under the statement.”

The Commission said it is stepping up its support to Cyprus, which is also facing an increase in arrivals.