North Aegean Region Director Turns down Meeting with Greek Migration Min over New Island Facilities

FILE - In this Tuesday, April 5, 2016 file photo, a Greek police officer closes the main gate of Moria camp as behind her refugees and migrants protest against the EU- Turkey deal about migration inside the entrance of Moria camp in the Greek island of Lesbos. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)

ATHENS – Northern Aegean Region director Kostas Moutzouris rejected a renewed meeting with Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi on Tuesday, through a social media post that explained there was a disagreement in the purpose of the meeting.

Moutzouris and other colleagues were expected to attend a rescheduled meeting to discuss the government’s policy on migration related to islands near the borders with Turkey which have received heavy inflows of migrants. At the center of the argument is an act the government introduced that requisitions land on the islands to build closed, or controlled, facilities for migrants. Minister Mitarakis had told the media that the requisition act would be suspended, for talks with the regional directors, who would designate the areas the facilities would be located.

On Tuesday, however, Moutzouris told the minister through social media “not to bother waiting” because the agreement, he claimed, was to have talks “from zero base” on the island facilities, not to proceed on them.

The North Aegean director accused the government of changing its position, and said he would not attend.