X
    Categories: Greek newsImmigrationPoliticsSociety

European Commission: Greece Lacks Plan to Tackle Migrant Inflow

Greece does not have a comprehensive strategy for the return of economic migrants to their country of origin and lacks sufficient detention centers in order to prevent their escape, says a European Commission report.

The report marks the progress on the response of the migrant influx crisis in Italy, Greece and along the route to the Western Balkans.

Greece has pledged to increase the reception capacity to 30,000 places for asylum seekers until the end of the year. Also, with the help of the UNHCR at least 20,000 extra positions will open, as a prerequisite for the operation of an emergency resettlement scheme.

On December 14th, the European Commission signed an agreement with UNHCR. The latter will provide 80 million euros as a rent subsidy program to provide 20,000 places in reception areas.

Greece has also signed an agreement with the Development Bank of the European Council that would fund 700 hospitality places in Eleonas. Overall, by early January 2016, 35,000 hospitality slots should be ready.

European Union Member States have agreed to help Greece to relocate 66,400 people in need of international protection. The first relocation flight only carried 30 asylum seekers from Greece to Luxembourg.

To date, 64 asylum seekers have been relocated from Greece. There are 370 candidates for resettlement and relocation and 297 requests have been submitted to other Member States.

Only nine Member States have offered Greece a total of 305 places for resettlement, while 14 Member States have designated liaison officers to support the process in situ.

Greek authorities have allocated five first reception centers (hotspots) in Lesvos, Leros, Kos, Chios, and Samos. To date, however, only the first reception center in Lesvos is functioning.

Greece has appointed hotspot coordinators and set up a central coordinating committee. However the construction of all five reception centers must be completed on schedule.

Philip Chrysopoulos :