Greek Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis appeared highly critical of the northern European countries’ migration policy, accusing them of turning Greece “into a theater of mass transit for hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria.” As the debate over Greece’s moves to deal with the waves of migrants and refugees crossing its borders on a daily basis by the hundreds is heating up, Voutsis explained that the refugee waves from Syria are increasing, with a 130% surge documented in the first three months.
Moreover, the Greek Interior Minister did not rule out the possibility of an even greater increase in the above figures, while there are about 2.5 million refugees in Turkey at the moment, awaiting to cross the Aegean Sea, 1.2 million in Jordan and a total of 4.5 million in various Mediterranean shores, trying to make it over to Europe. As he said, “fast track” procedures must be in place and the refugees arriving in Greece should be granted three-month residency permits in order to allow them to visit the countries they desire.
In a similar critical tone, Voutsis accused the previous government of ignoring almost 90 million euros of European Union funds for migration services and not creating any of the 2,500 jobs in hospitality it announced.
At the same time, Frontex General Director Fabrice Leggeri will visit Greece tomorrow in order to hold a series of meetings with government officials and visit areas that have experienced problems due to increased migration, such as islands in the Eastern Aegean. On their behalf, Greek Coast Guard union representatives claim that Frontex has turned into a bureaucratic entity and is not providing any substantial assistance, despite the increased problem Greece is facing. As the union representatives said, the Europeans are “sympathetic” but only because through European Union treaties and agreements they have ensured migrants will remain in the first country of entry in the EU, such as Greece.