ATHENS — "The European Union is facing migratory pressure in many fronts; in the external and the internal borders. And that makes the discussion about progress in the Pact more timely," Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi said on Friday upon his arrival at the Justice and Home Affairs Council.
"The situation in Afghanistan is obviously worrying for all. Greece has provided on a voluntary basis support, and we have given safe haven to people coming from Afghanistan, but we need to find a common European solution," he said and added:
"The new Pact needs to be more aggressive in the topic of solidarity. These migratory pressures is not just a challenge for the countries of first reception, it's a challenge for the entire Union, and we need to make sure any burden is shared equally and fairly among member states.
It is not just a Pact, we expect the European Union to do much more on the external dimension, on protecting the European borders, and on achieving the return of those not eligible for international protection. We expect the European Union to do more in implementing the joint statement between the European Union (EU) and Turkey. Every dinghy departing from Turkish coast is a violation of the joint statement. Every person that has been considered not eligible for international protection and not accepted back for return, this is also a failure of the joint statement, so we hope to see more progress.
"With regard to comments made recently from press about alleged push-backs. I said yesterday to Commissioner Johansson that obviously the Greek authorities will investigate such claims. Every claim made is investigated by the judiciary and by our internal audit," he concluded.