Speaking to SKAI TV, Mousalas defended the move saying that it stems from the EU Dublin regulations and it had been announced months ago.
“We will symbolically implement the Dublin regulations, which means that the number will be very small, a few dozen people in the coming months,” he said.
Under the Dublin regulations an asylum claim should be processed in the country where a migrant first entered the bloc.
Germany had suspended returns under a 2011 ruling by its Constitutional Court, citing shortcomings in Greece’s asylum system. The reinstatement of Dublin rules is based on a European Commission recommendation, issued in December last year.
Opposition New Democracy party accused the minister of painting an “idyllic picture” of the refugee and migrant problem in Greece.
In a statement it notes that at a time when flows of refugees and migrants from Turkey to the Greek islands have increased, the minister gives in to Germany’s demands to resettle refugees.