The European Union’s Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson announced from Athens on Thursday that Brussels will offer €2,000 ($2,250) to every migrant currently living on the Eastern Aegean Greek islands to return to his or her country of origin.
Those migrants from Lesbos, Chios, and Samos, as well as other smaller Eastern Aegean islands, will have only one month to sign up for the voluntary return scheme to be able to receive the money.
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The European Union does not intend make this scheme permanent, as such a plan could understandably work as a magnet for those currently living in Turkey.
”Refugees will not return — of course, they can’t return — but economic migrants that maybe know they will not get a positive asylum decision could be interested in doing that,” Johansson told reporters after a meeting she held with Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi.
Currently, Greece’s Eastern Aegean islands are housing tens of thousands more migrants than these islands’ infrastructure can possibly cope with.