Deportations, returns at focus of new ministry


Greece’s new Ministry for Migration and Asylum is expected to focus on speeding up deportations and returns amid fears of an expected surge in migrant arrivals from neighboring Turkey as winter starts giving way to spring.

The bid to accelerate procedures comes as 577 migrants and refugees landed on Greece’s shores just last week, during a break in the wintry weather that brought gale-force winds and storms earlier in the month.

Asylum and return procedures are also expected to speed up following a decision by the European Asylum Support Office to bolster its presence in Greece with the deployment of 550 additional personnel.

The new ministry is also planning to create a comprehensive register of all Greek and foreign non-governmental organizations that are active in the field in order to shed light on their operations and, chiefly, on how they spend European community funding.