Greece, Italy, Spain, Malta and Cyprus have asked for an emergency meeting of the EU’s Home Affairs Council to prepare the European Union for new waves of refugees fleeing Afghanistan.
The Greek minister of Migration and Asylum, Notis Mitarachi, talking on public broadcaster ERT, on Tuesday, said that Greece is not willing to become an entry point for Afghan refugees heading for Europe.
“We need a united approach, a common policy within the EU” Mitarachi said. “Greece has made it clear that we do not want and cannot be the gateway for immigrants and refugees who want to cross into the EU. We do not want to go through what we experienced in 2015” he stressed.
📌 Το πρόβλημα στο #Αφγανιστάν αφορά όλη την ανθρωπότητα, αφορά όλον τον δυτικό κόσμο, χρειάζεται μία ενιαία ευρωπαϊκή αντίδραση
📌 Δε μπορούμε να είμαστε η πύλη εισόδου για την #Ευρώπη. Θα συνεχίσουμε να εφαρμόζουμε μία αυστηρή, αλλά δίκαιη μεταναστευτική πολιτική@ertofficial_ pic.twitter.com/0cfOcmIsVZ
— Νότης Μηταράκης – Notis Mitarachi (@nmitarakis) August 17, 2021
The Greek Minister also said that the European Union must support Turkey in its struggle to cope with the massive migrant/refugees flows
“There is no one who is not moved by what is happening in Afghanistan. But we cannot have millions of people coming to the EU through Greece” Mitarachi added.
The Afghan crisis comes at a time when Greece thought it had managed to put the migration crisis under control.
Data from the Migration Ministry say that arrival flows decreased by 60%, in the period from January to July 2021, compared to the same period in 2020.
The migrants/ refugees population hosted in the Eastern Aegean islands has dropped by about 80% compared to last year.
The country has build a new fence on the Evros border with Turkey and deployed high tech surveillance systems across the borders to halt migration.