Anastasiades says increasing migrant flows from Turkey distorting demographics

Anastasiades says increasing migrant flows from Turkey distorting demographics

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades expressed concern over the flow of immigrants from Turkey, which he said is an attempt to distort the demographic character of Cyprus.

The president was replying to questions at the Presidential Palace before chairing a meeting on migration, with the participation of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Interior, as well as the Director of the President’s Diplomatic Office Kyriakos Kouros.

Anastasiades said Cyprus has a disproportionate number of migrants in relation to its population, but pointed out that the aim was to take measures to curb the flow of migrants whilst taking into consideration the human anguish accompanying the flows.

Simultaneously, Anastasiades said, Cyprus’ demographic character must also be protected.

Anastasiades also held a lengthy telephone conversation with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, expressing the Cyprus government’s intention to contribute, either through Frontex or on a bilateral level, towards addressing the migration challenges Greece – and Europe by extension – is facing.

Deputy Government Spokesman Panayiotis Sentonas said the Greek Prime Minister informed Anastasiades about Turkey’s organized effort to flood Greece with migrants in an attempt to blackmail the EU.

Sentonas said Mitsotakis thanked Anastasiades and pointed out that the problems Cyprus is facing as a result of Turkish policies could not be ignored either.

In view of EU councils, they decided to stay in constant contact, Sentonas added.

Earlier on Tuesday, government spokesman Kyriakos Koushos said waves of migrants would continue and that Cyprus would be one of the main stops.

Koushos stressed that migrants currently amount to 3.5 percent of the Cyprus population, adding that the EU should finally take some serious decisions on immigration, and particularly on economic migrants.

[Kathimerini Cyprus]

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