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GreeceCommissioner Johansson: Greece has made key progress on migration issue; Kairidis on...

Commissioner Johansson: Greece has made key progress on migration issue; Kairidis on European collaboration

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Greece has made noteworthy steps toward a contemporary management of the migration issue, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said in Athens on Monday, during a migration event at the related Greek ministry.

Johansson had met with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the ministry earlier in the day. In a post on social media, she said of the meeting, “In Athens today where I met with PM Mitsotakis. We discussed the positive progress that Greece has made in managing migration in an orderly way, the need for more legal pathways and integration, as well as the crisis in the Middle East.”

Also speaking at the event on “European solutions in the joint challenge of migration” at the migration ministry were the premier, Migration and Asylum Minister Dimitris Kairidis, and European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas.

The commissioner referred to the New Pact on Migration and Asylum the 27 EU member states have agreed on that will be ratified in the spring. He described the Pact as a holistic and balanced agreement worth 2 billion euros that Greece stands to benefit from significantly. He also revealed that an additional 1.6 billion euros would be allocated to member states for migration programs.

During a discussion with Kairidis as part of the event at the Migration ministry, Johansson underlined that significant steps forward had been taken in Greece in terms of managing the migration issue, and pointed out that it shows that if countries work together they can achieve a lot despite many challenges.

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The Home Affairs commissioner also said that 3.5 million migrants arrived in the European Union legally every year, while another 300,000 arrived irregularly. More should be done so the system works better, she said, while she also called for a global alliance against human traffickers, who must be arrested.

Migration & Asylum Minister Kairidis noted that 90% of irregual arrivals in Greece occurred through human traffickers. Their networks must be fought with networks of collaborating countries. As he explained, “We have to collaborate. The 27 states have very much delayed [to act]. There are a lot of naive people before this huge problem and the massive profiteering of billions that illegal migrant trafficking is about. Let us save the asylum system from its abusers – something that requires [migrant returns]. It does not mean that whoever comes to Europe will stay in Europe. If they have a right to asylum, yes; if not, they must return.”

The minister said that Greece lags behind on the issue of legal migration, as the renewal of a residence permit could take as much as two years. This is an issue of priority in the near future, he added. “The migration issue is a field that can unite us instead of dividing us,” he concluded.

In following statements, Johansson said that talks were under way on challenges such as irregular arrivals and how to prevent them through close collaboration, and such as migrant returns. Also under discussion, she said, were ways of investing in legal migration routes and in ‘labor’ migration, “because we need it.”

European societies and labor markets face staff shortages and legal migration in an orderly way was needed. Europe can prove that the migration issue is manageable, she noted, adding that Greece is in the front line of a contemporary management of the migration issue.

SOURCE; ANA-MPA

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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