ATHENS – “Border guarding saves lives,” Μigration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi said on Monday, speaking at a special event of the European Affairs and Public Administration, Public Order and Justice parliamentary committees at the Conference on the Future of Europe.
“The number of missing and dead migrants in 2021 (28) is a historic low compared to the previous five years and especially in 2016 when the losses were 436,” Mitarachi said adding that “it is our duty to protect human life and to dismantle the circuits of smugglers, who sacrifice lives in the name of illicit profit.”
Regarding the debate in the EU on a new system for the effective management of migration pressure, he noted that “Greece will assume its share of responsibility while demanding a transparent and automated mechanism of solidarity based on relocation which will prevent the accumulation of pressure at the external borders over time.”
“The new Pact on Migration and Asylum must achieve a manageable level of flows, by promoting cooperation with third countries of transit and origin, by strengthening the guard of the borders in the light of efforts by third countries to instrumentalize migrants and refugees and by supporting the legal channels,” the minister added and explained: “Greece has welcomed through legal procedures, and in coordination with international organizations, 700 Afghan citizens, mainly women officials, MPs, judges, lawyers, whose life was in danger as well as members of their families, it has adopted legislation for seasonal workers through 5-year work permits that will give them the right to stay in Greece for nine months per year, while strengthening cooperation with third countries of origin of economic migrants, as Bangladesh.”
“Europe has a future, a future of justice, security, humanity. I can not predict its exact form, but I can assure you that Greece and the Greek citizens will be in the first line,” Mitarachi concluded.