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GreecePM Mitsotakis: Rapprochement with Turkiye has helped reduce illegal migration

PM Mitsotakis: Rapprochement with Turkiye has helped reduce illegal migration

Hellenic News of America
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Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday attended a ceremony for the delivery of a new road from Kalloni to Sigri on the island of Lesvos, measuring 46.7 km. In his speech at the event, he referred to the significance of the new road for ending “the isolation of Western Lesvos” and for reducing road accidents, while also referring to the new fast-track visas for people arriving from Turkiye and migration. He noted that the policy of rapprochement with Turkiye had helped decrease illegal migration flows.

“Greece is one of the few countries, if not the only one, which has effectively handled the problem of refugee flows with tangible results, with a significant reduction of flows, through the exceptional work done by our Coast Guard but also through cooperation with Turkish authorities,” Mitsotakis said, noting that the improvement in relations with Turkiye had measurable results in daily life.

“The reduction, therefore, of migration flows, of illegal migration, the increase in legal visits that are the flip side of this coin, I would say are hands-on proof that this policy of rapprochement between Greece and Turkiye has real results that bring a substantial economic “dividend” of growth for Lesvos and all the islands of the Eastern Aegean,” Mitsotakis added.

Talking about the fast-track visa programme, following his visit to the relevant facilities earlier in the day, the prime minister said that this granted a long-standing request of the regional authorities but “was not at all easy” to accomplish. “What you see today, which we accept as more-or-less self-evident, required a great deal of work by the Migration Policy Minister and his team in order to convince the European Commission that we are ready to meet the high-level requirements of the Schengen [Agreement]. So we are able to issue a visa essentially within minutes,” Mitsotakis said.

Pointing out that this was the only programme of its kind in Europe, he stressed that it was “running” “here in the North Aegean,” while adding: “It was a commitment I made and we turned it into action.”

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Regarding the new road being delivered on Friday, he said it would open up new prospects for the west part of the island, reducing journey times by 40 minutes, and also help in meeting the national goal for the halving of fatal road accidents by 2030.

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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