ATHENS – The migration issue took center stage at the meeting between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer at the Maximos Mansion on Friday.
At the meeting Mitsotakis told the German minister, “We cannot sit back and watch the inflows of migrants continue – we must find a way to stop the inflows,” sources said.
The Greek premier added that Greece is changing its policy on the migration issue from the policy followed by the previous government, and informed Seehofer of a plan being implemented to transfer nearly 20,000 migrans and refugees from the islands to the Greek mainland. The plan was working on an emergency basis, he said, while the actual foundation for a solution lies in the EU-Turkey joint statement. The migration issue, he noted, will be an agenda topic at the upcoming EU Summit in Brussels.
In addition, the premier said Greece will do what was not done in the past years, during which only 1,806 people were returned to Turkey, according to sources.
Before arriving in Greece, Seehofer and European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos paid a visit to Turkey on Thursday for talks in the framework of the EU-Turkey joint statement on migration before arriving in Greece. His meeting was attended, among others, by Avramopoulos and French Ambassador to Athens Patrick Maisonnave, who represented France’s Interior Minister Christophe Castaner. The latter was scheduled to join the mission to Greece and Turkey but postponed his trip following the attack on a police department in Paris.