Greek Minister for Migration Yiannis Mouzalas did not exclude the possibility of deaths at the migrant camps this coming winter.
In an interview to German magazine Der Spiegel, Mouzalas was explicitly asked whether he can guarantee that nobody is going to die at Moria camp in Lesvos.
“No, I cannot do that. What I can guarantee is that we are doing everything we can to prevent this from happening,” he said.
The minister clarified that preparations will be completed by December 15, at Moria.
“We are already sending more equipment and food to the camp. However, the key is the number of newcomers. If things remain as they are, then I think we have been well prepared.”
Mouzalas also said that the government is considering making advance booking in hotels in case more migrants arrive in the next days or weeks.
Regarding the issue of the resettlement of migrants and refugees in mainland Greece, Mouzalas said that the EU-Turkey agreement specifies that all asylum seekers, with the exception of minor exceptions, must stay in the island’s hotspots until their request is considered.
“The agreement is binding for both sides,” he said.
Mouzalas admitted that the EU-Turkey agreement is controversial but stressed that its implementation has led to a reduction in the number of newly arrived refugees by 97%.