Replying to a question posed by Potami opposition MP Spyros Lykoudis in parliament today, Migrant Policy minister Yannis Mouzalas presented a bleak update on the refugee flow to the Greek islands.
According to data presented by Mouzalas, the refugee flow from Turkey has risen dramatically since Aug.20, causing a new overflow problem in the Aegean islands. If the situation deteriorates further, plans for dealing with the flow will have to be revised.
Additionally, the deal between the EU and Turkey concerning the return of refugees is in urgent need of reexamination, although EU authorities appear hesitant to take the initiative.
As for the absorption rate of EU funds for the refugee crisis from Greece, the government appears content with the 30% it has achieved so far, citing the fact that neighbouring Italy has only absorbed 6% of its EU aid for its refugee problem.
“Refugee overpopulation is indeed an issue on the Greek islands at the moment, but we are dealing with the problem in the appropriate manner,” the minister stated. He added, though, that should the flow double in the coming days, more efforts will be required.
Mouzalas claimed that although a significant rise in refugee arrivals has been recorded, the situation is far from the dire one the country was facing in the summer of 2015. “Should that happen, we will have to consider a new approach.”