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Mitarakis: Reduction of migration flows is top priority

mitarakis-reduction-of-migration-flows-is-top-priority

The main priority of the governemnt is to reduce the arrivals of migrants to the Greek islands from the Turkish coast, the newly-appointed Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis said on Thursday.

"The rapid implementation of our policy is necessary in order for the citizens to see that something is being done," he told state-run radio station Praktoreio FM.

"Our political direction is specific, our target is to restrict [migration] flows and this demands the strengthening of border protection and efficiency in the management of asylum using the new legislation in effect since January 1, 2020."

Mitarakis said he believed that if the government plan is implemented properly, reactions in local communities will be reduced.

Regarding the reasons that led Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to re-establish the migration ministry it had abolished after coming to power, Mitarakis attributed it to the rise in arrivals in the second half of 2019, due to "geopolitical developments" in the region.

"We considered, therefore, that in the current phase the acceleration of the measures already legislated and planned will be better achieved with the creation of an independent portfolio, which includes all the main elements of the effort in 2019 and I am simply an addition to the team that already exists," he said.

"It is important that traffickers get the message that the road to Greece is a dead end for those not entitled to international protection".